The Inclusionary Housing Debate

Zoning Practice — September 2004

By Nicholas Brunick


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In response to the nationwide affordable housing crisis, many local governments are turning to inclusionary zoning as an effective tool for creating much needed affordable housing. In crafting an inclusionary housing program, every community faces a major decision: should the inclusionary housing program be mandatory or voluntary?

This decision raises questions common to any policy debate involving markets and governmental regulation. Is a mandate needed to produce affordable housing, or are incentives sufficient to spur developers to create affordable homes and apartments?

This issue of Zoning Practice, the first in a two-part series on inclusionary housing, examines programs from the across the country and suggests that mandatory programs are more effective at producing affordable units than voluntary programs.


Page Count
Date Published
Sept. 1, 2004
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Nicholas Brunick