Overview of Three Canadian Inclusionary Housing Policies

Three major Canadian cities – Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver – have  enacted inclusionary housing policies.  Although different in many ways, the policies share a number of key features that provide the basis for a limited but effective made-in-Canada inclusionary housing approach.  This paper describes and compares those policies, and identifies their key shared features.

The preparation of these case studies was funded by the Wellesley Institute. [Read more…]

Summary of Six American Inclusionary Zoning Programs

Case studies have been prepared for six of the better-known and generally more successful programs in the US.   They were  selected to include examples from communities of different sizes and from various parts of  the US.   The following overview identifies these programs, and provides a summary of their main features.

The preparation of these case studies was funded by the Wellesley Institute. [Read more…]

Montreal QC: ‘Inclusionary Housing Strategy’

This strategy – called a ‘strategy for inclusion of affordable housing in new residential projects’ – was adopted by the city in August 2005.  Its goal is to provide housing for a mix of  income brackets in all new large housing developments.  This was to be achieved particularly by facilitating the development of social housing as well as affordable housing for first-time homeowners. [Read more…]

Vancouver BC: ‘20% Core Need Housing Policy’

The city introduced its inclusionary housing program in 1988 through a policy initially called its ‘20% core need housing policy’, but now more commonly its ‘non-market housing policy’.  The policy was initially designed to provide social housing for ‘core need households’ on certain large market residential developments, particularly by securing sites that could be developed for social housing.  Later, the policy was changed to include a wider range of affordable housing on these sites. [Read more…]

Chicago IL: ‘Affordable Requirements Ordinance’

Chicago, with a population of 2.8 mil,  is now the largest jurisdiction with an inclusionary zoning program.  Adopted in 2007 against opposition from its then powerful mayor, this program represents a compromise that falls short of what the proponents sought.  In conjunction, a new organization — the Chicago Community Land Trust — has been set up to administer the affordable units. [Read more…]

San Francisco CA : ‘Residential Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program’

San Francisco, a city of 750,000, adopted its first program in 1992, making it the first big city to do so.  This program has been substantially changed and modified over the years, generally to make it more demanding and productive.  It is notable for imposing a different affordable housing obligation on developments needing re-zoning and those proceeding as-of-right.  It might be the only program that does not provide density bonuses or any other cost off-sets for as-of-right developments. [Read more…]

Davis CA : ‘Affordable Housing Program’

Davis, a small city of 65,000 in northern California, is well-known for its progressive planning and environmental policies.  Their program, first passed in 1977, was subsequently enhanced twice.  It is  notable for its efforts to provide a fuller range of housing types, including a variety of affordable ownership and rental housing as well as land for social and special needs housing.
[Read more…]

Montgomery County MD : ‘Moderately Priced Housing Program’

Montgomery County, a large and fast-growing county of 950,000 outside of Washington DC, adopted its initial program in 1971, making it among the first in the country.    It also might be the single most productive program in the country.  Despite its success, its particular approach to many key aspects have not been emulated in later programs. [Read more…]

Burlington VT : ‘Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance’

Burlington, a small city of 40,000 in northern Vermont, is acclaimed for many progressive affordable housing initiatives that it has adopted.  Its inclusionary program, first adopted in 1990 and modified once since then,  draws upon and incorporates many of the best practices developed elsewhere, while introducing innovations of its own – notably, imposing a higher affordable housing obligation on developments serving higher income levels.
[Read more…]

Boston MA : ‘Inclusionary Development Policy’

Boston, a city of 600,000, established its program in 2000 by executive order of its  mayor, and modified it on several occasions since then.   It nominally applies only to new developments needing a re-zoning approval, but in reality affects  all new developments because of the city’s archaic by-laws.  The program imposes a fixed inclusionary obligation on all new developments, but unlike its predecessors allows for the cost off-sets to be determined through negotiation.
[Read more…]