Urban Planning

Inclusionary Zoning Makes Housing Less Affordable Not More : urbanplanning


There are several ways in which inclusionary zoning makes housing less affordable.

  1. It reduces the overall number of units built by making development less profitable.

  2. The cost of the below market units are passed onto the market rate units in order to compensate for reduced profits.

  3. Not necessarily caused by the inclusionary zoning itself, but once adopted there is incentive to block projects because activists want ever greater percentages of “affordable” units.

In California affordable units have additional regulatory requirements that market rate units do have.

In Carlsbad, CA affordability requirements added roughly 8% to the cost of housing.



“Carlsbad’s second largest element in its regulatory cost total involves the various fees that are imposed and collected when the building permit is issued. These fees add about 9% to the cost of housing. Another 8% of housing prices comes from the city’s requirements to provide affordable housing.”

Any below market rate housing should be subsidized and provided by the governments rather than trying to force developers to provide it. Affordability requirements also divert attention from artificial scarcity and costs imposed by governments, which is the actual problem, not developers being “greedy”.

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