Report: What Makes Inclusionary Zoning Happen?

More than 500 local inclusionary zoning (IZ) programs have been implemented in communities across the country. In most cases, these IZ policies are adopted as part of a larger local strategy to expand housing options that are affordable to lower income households. IZ policies have been adopted in a wide range of places, from big cities to suburban communities to rural areas. But what makes one community more quickly adopt an IZ policy than another community? This new research brief, released today by the National Housing Conference (NHC), can help advocates target their education and outreach efforts as they seek to expand the number and the effectiveness of IZ programs across the country.

Using a database developed in collaboration with Grounded Solutions, researchers at NHC and the University of Maryland developed a model to explain the rate of IZ adoption in local jurisdictions across the country. When states expressly authorize inclusionary zoning, local jurisdictions have an easier time adopting a local IZ program. Other community characteristics that are associated with adoption of a local IZ program include :

  • Higher population densities and higher shares of rent-burdened households.
  • Lower home ownership rates, and a lower share of Democratic voters.

Download the Brief here. 

About the National Housing Conference

The National Housing Conference represents a diverse membership of housing stakeholders including tenant advocates, mortgage bankers, nonprofit and for-profit home builders, property managers, policy practitioners, Realtors®, equity investors, and more, all of whom share a commitment to safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America. We are the nation’s oldest housing advocacy organization, dedicated to the affordable housing mission since our founding in 1931. We are a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together our broad-based membership to advocate on housing issues. Learn more at

National Housing Conference (NHC)
Research brief that analyzes ways housing advocates can target efforts to expand inclusionary housing programs.