Urban Institute Highlights Zoning Strategies to Improve Housing Affordability

A recent post on the Urban Institute website by Solomon Greene and Jorge Gonzalez highlights how local governments are “increasingly recognizing that restrictive zoning and outdated land-use regulations can suppress housing supply, drive up housing costs, and widen racial and economic disparities. Leveraging smart zoning reforms and easing building restrictions can unleash housing supply to help meet the needs of current and future residents.”  The post highlights several local strategies including:

  • Minneapolis, MN – first major city to eliminate single-family zoning
  • Fairfax County, VA – easing height and density restrictions
  • Washington, DC – in-law units
  • Seattle, WA – rezoned single-family neighborhoods as “residential small lot” areas
  • Santa Rosa, CA – streamlining review for infill housing
  • Pinellas County, FL and Austin, TX – expediting review processes and waiving fees if the project involves dedicated affordable housing
  • Buffalo, NY, Hartford CT and San Francisco, CA – eliminating off-street parking requirements
  • New York, NY – Mandatory inclusionary zoning
  • New Orleans, LA – tailored neighborhood inclusionary zoning
  • King County, WA – affordable housing providers get “first look” at county-owned land