Obama Administration Releases Housing Development Toolkit
The White House recently released the “Housing Development Toolkit,” which highlights actions state and local jurisdictions can take to encourage housing development. The white paper argues that restrictive zoning contributes to high rents, exacerbates wealth inequality, and slows the U.S. economy.
According to the white paper, local barriers to new housing development, particularly affordable housing, include local land use restrictions, parking requirements, residential conversion restrictions, and slow permitting processes. The white paper provides a description of actions taken by jurisdictions to reduce these barriers. These actions include:
- Establishing by-right development that reduces a developer’s need to seek zoning variances or other approvals that add to the length of time needed to complete a project;
- Taxing vacant land to encourage development or finding ways to donate it to non-profit developers;
- Streamlining or shortening permitting processes;
- Eliminating parking requirements;
- Enacting high-density and multifamily zoning;
- Allowing accessory dwelling units;
- Establishing density bonuses;
- Employing inclusionary zoning; and
- Establishing tax incentives for development of affordable housing.