Inclusionary Housing

If you are looking for housing assistance, please contact your local housing authority, Virginia Housing, or the Department of Housing and Community Development. HousingForward Virginia is not a state agency, affordable housing provider, or direct service organization of any kind. This page is intended to educate those in the housing and community development industry about inclusionary housing.

What is inclusionary housing?

Policies that mandate or encourage new residential developments to dedicate a share of homes to low and moderate income families are inclusionary housing strategies. The most common method is inclusionary zoning, which creates specific affordability targets in local land use codes, but we use the term “inclusionary housing” to also include additional incentives and programs that complement zoning requirements.

ADUs: The NExt (Little) Thing in Affordable Housing

In Microblog #116, we showcased the Austin Alley Flat Initiative’s recent progress in expanding accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in Texas’s hippest city. Several communities in Virginia currently have ADU programs in place, but interest and production has been modest so far. To help rub off some of that magic here in Virginia, we hosted a webinar to dig into ADU design and policy, with a focus on capacity building and implementation.

Participants included Michelle Winters, Executive Director at the Alliance for Housing Solutions and HousingForward Virginia board member; Max Pastore, an urban designer at Rhodeside & Harwell; Dr. Christina Stacy at the Urban Institute; and Nicole Joslin at Austin’s Community Powered Workshop, an organization that helped launch the Alley Flat Initiative.

Click below for a recording of the session, slides, speaker bios, and more.

inclusionary housing guidebook

HousingForward Virginia is pleased to offer the first-ever guidebook on inclusionary housing policies in the state. Welcome to the Neighborhood: A Practitioner’s Guide to Inclusionary Housing provides local planners, officials, and advocates with a complete perspective on inclusionary zoning ordinances and other tools to promote a wide range of housing options—affordable to households of all incomes—in their communities.


2018 Inclusionary Housing workshop material:

In August and September of 2018, HousingForward Virginia led several workshops across the state on inclusionary housing. Click the link below to access the presentation slides from these workshops.

Inclusionary housing resources

Inclusionary Housing Database Map

An interactive map of all known inclusionary zoning programs across the United States, along with relevant state enabling policies. (Developed by the Grounded Solutions Network.)

Inclusionary Housing Calculator 2.0

An interactive calculator that lets user plug in their own inclusionary zoning policy prescription (set-aside ratio, density bonus, etc.) and development scenarios (number of units, construction costs, etc.) to explore the feasibility of inclusionary zoning program designs. (Developed by the Grounded Solutions Network.)

Publications, articles, and blog posts

Inclusionary Housing: Creating and Maintaining Equitable Communities,” Rick Jacobus. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. (September 2015)

Inclusionary Housing in the United States: Prevalence, Impact, and Practices,” Emily Thaden and Ruoniu Wang. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. (September 2017)

Separating Fact from Fiction to Design Effective Inclusionary Housing Programs,” Lisa Sturtevant. National Housing Conference. (May 2016)

What Makes Inclusionary Zoning Happen?,” Brian Stromberg and Lisa Sturtevant. National Housing Conference. (May 2016)

Is inclusionary zoning creating less affordable housing?” Emily Hamilton. Strong Towns. (April 2018)

Silver Bullet or Trojan Horse? The Effects of Inclusionary Zoning on Local Housing Markets in the United States,” Jenny Schuetz, Rachel Meltzer, and Vicki Been. NYU Furman Center for Real Estate & Public Policy. (June 2008)

Is Inclusionary Zoning Inclusionary? A Guide for Practitioners,” Heather L. Schwartz, Liisa Ecola, Kristin J. Leuschner, and Aaron Kofner. RAND Corporation. (2012)

Inclusionary zoning has a scale problem,” Daniel Hertz. City Observatory. (November 2016)

Housing And Health: The Role Of Inclusionary Zoning,” David Tuller. Health Affairs. (June 2018)

Additional resources

Recorded ADU (affordable dwelling unit) declaration for Cambria Square Condominium in Alexandria, Virginia.

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