Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Report Surveys State and Local Strategies to Increase Affordable Housing

A recent report by the National Association of Home Builders, Research on State and Local Means of Increasing Affordable Housing Highlights, surveys and analyzes various affordable housing strategies across the country.

The report observed that successful places rely on an array of strategies to encourage affordable housing.  It noted that inclusionary zoning, which requires a set-aside or exaction of affordable units, has mixed results.  Successful programs have strong incentives for developers.

The analysis describes each policy framework, assesses whether the policy worked, and provides a discussion of pros and cons.  The policies surveyed are divided into categories.  

Land-Use Strategies for Encouraging Affordable Housing:
  • Planning for Affordable Housing
  • Zoning for Affordable Housing
    • Overlay Zoning Districts
    • Affordable Housing Districts
    • Inclusionary Zoning
    • Density Bonus Programs
    • Growth Centers and Corridors
    • Changes in Zoning to Encourage Affordable Housing
    • Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance
    • Increased Use of Manufactured Housing
    • Adaptive Reuse of Underutilized Buildings
    • Performance Zoning (e.g., form-based zoning).
  • Allowing Various Types of Development
    • Cluster Development
    • Infill Development
    • Mixed-Use Development
    • Planned Unit Development
    • Transit-Oriented Development
    • Affordable Housing Ordinances
Financial Strategies for Encouraging Affordable Housing
  • Property Taxes
  • State Tax Credits
  • Impact Fees
  • State Incentives
  • Housing Trust Funds
  • Housing-Linked Deposits
  • Linkage Fees
  • Tax Increment Financing
  • Profit-Sharing
  • General Obligation Bonds
  • “Double Bottom Line” Private Equity Funds
  • Shared Equity
A third category called "other" includes increasing education for folks needing affordability programs, creating public-private partnerships, and expediting permitting.

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