Zoning & Land Use

NH&RA News

NH&RA Hosts ICAST IRA & BIL Instant Benefit Estimate Calculator

ICAST’s IRA & BIL Instant Benefit Estimate Calculator is now available on NH&RA’s website under the Resources section.


Denver Launches Expanding Housing Affordability Project

The Denver Community Planning and Development team is partnering with the Department of Housing Stability on a citywide effort to promote affordable housing through policy tools and incentives.

NH&RA News

America’s Sordid History of Exclusionary Zoning

The Counselors of Real Estate published an article by James Burling, vice president of legal affairs at Pacific Legal Foundation, on America’s Sordid History of Exclusionary Zoning. Burling traces the history state-sponsored, racially motivated exclusionary housing laws via George McMechen’s efforts to obtain a home in the suburbs.

QAP Minnesota

Minneapolis 2040 Plan Gains Final Approval from the City Council

The Minneapolis City Council voted 10-1 to give the final approval to the Minneapolis 2040 plan. This comprehensive plan permits more housing options, such as duplexes and triplexes, in single-family home zones. It also allows for higher density along transit corridors.

QAP California

California Memo on Rental Inclusionary Housing Ordinance

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) released the Rental Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Technical Assistance Memo, which provides guidance on HCD’s review of rental inclusionary housing ordinances adopted by local governments pursuant to Government Code section 65850, including amendments pursuant to Chapter 486, Statutes of 2017 (AB 1505).

NH&RA News

Harvard JCHS Publishes Report on Exclusionary Zoning

In a new paper, Michael Stegman with the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studiers (JCHS) argues that “eliminating exclusionary land use regulations should be the civil rights issue of our time.” Stegman looks back at five presidential commissions and federal initiatives to eliminate local barriers to housing development, put in motion by both Democratic and Republican administrations, arguing that each was based on the proposition that unnecessary land use regulations drive up production costs and drive down housing supply.

QAP Oregon

Oregon Signs Missing Middle Housing Bill

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2001, which authorizes missing middle housing in large cities’ single-family zones. Oregon is now the first state to pass state-wide legislation that aims to address single-family zoning.


Vermont Launches Zoning for Great Neighborhoods Project

The Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) launched the Zoning for Great Neighborhoods project, an initiative aimed at helping Vermont cities and towns break down the regulatory barriers preventing them from meeting the housing needs of Vermonters. The project’s next steps will involve meeting with communities, analyzing typical local regulations, and proposing alternatives that can support the types of homes needed. The full toolkit for municipalities will be completed by the spring of 2020.

NH&RA News

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 […]


Oregon Senate Passes Bill to Eliminate Single-Family Zoning

The Oregon State Senate recently approved House Bill 2001, which would authorize missing middle housing in large cities’ single-family zones, advancing it to Governor Kate Brown’s desk for her signature.


Seattle Upzones 27 Neighborhood Hubs, Passes Affordable-Housing Requirements

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) upzones that allow higher density and impose affordable housing requirements on more than two dozen neighborhoods. This action upzones 27 neighborhood hubs, requiring developers in those areas to set aside 5 to 11 percent of their developments as affordable units or pay $5 to $32.75 per square foot in fees.


California Updates List of Jurisdictions Subject to Streamlined Ministerial Approval Process

The California Department of Housing and Community Development released an updated list of California cities and counties subject to streamlined ministerial approval process. Under SB 35, which was signed into law in 2017, cities and counties that are not meeting their housing needs must expedite approvals for certain new housing projects in jurisdictions.

NH&RA News

Enterprise & Frameworks Institute Release Reports On Building Public Support for Affordable Housing

Enterprise, in partnership with the FrameWorks Institute, has released a pair of reports that outline an effective language strategy to build public support for affordable housing. “Finding a Frame for Affordable Housing” is an evidence-based approach to countering NIMBYism and public misperception in debates about affordable housing. The companion paper,“Piecing it Together,” takes these findings and translates them […]

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