Inclusionary Zoning Will Drive Up The Cost of Housing

by Andy High

With talk all through out Oregon about how to make home more affordable, governments continue to continue to bring up one bad idea after another but one of the worst is Inclusionary Zoning.

Inclusionary Zoning requires the developers who want to develop their land to set aside a certain portion of it for affordable housing. When the developers try to make the numbers work at the end of the day it will require them to pass the cost to future homeowners. Some jurisdictions in the US require developers to set aside over 20% of the lots for affordable housing. Simply, this drives up the costs for all homeowners.

This strategy simply doesn’t work. For example, for 30 years cities around the San Francisco Bay area have implemented Inclusionary Zoning. This has managed to create 6,840 units through these requirements, which produced about 28% of the need. Builders and developers simply left those cities or built in those areas that didn’t have Inclusionary Zoning. In Burlington, Vt. has managed to deliver 180 affordable units over 15 years.

Luckily, Oregon has a law on the books that prohibits Inclusionary Zoning. Let’s hope it stays that way.

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