The Rise of Market-Reliant Affordable Housing Tools

Brief

The Rise of Market-Reliant Affordable Housing Tools

Findings from the National Longitudinal Land Use Survey

Abstract

Survey results covering two decades of planning policy trends in US cities show a decline in government-organized housing trust funds and a shift toward private market–reliant affordable housing tools such as inclusionary zoning and zoning incentives. The result may ultimately be less housing support for low- and moderate-income families in the communities that need it most.

This brief leverages results of the National Longitudinal Land Use Survey (NLLUS) to examine how communities have altered land-use policies to generate housing affordable for households with low and moderate incomes. We explore how local jurisdictions with land-use powers have altered their approaches to implementing affordable housing trust funds, inclusionary zoning, and zoning incentives. Results indicate that localities are increasingly dependent on market-reliant tools that provide incentives for or require private-market actors to produce affordable housing as a part of their normal business instead of localities proactively and directly paying to develop affordable housing.

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