Silver Bullet or Trojan Horse:

The Effects of Inclusionary Zoning on Local Housing Markets in Greater Boston

March 17, 2009
Jenny Schuetz (Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, NYU) Rachel Meltzer (Doctoral Candidate, Furman Center) and Vicki Been (Furman Center)

This brief is based on "31 Flavors of Inclusionary Zoning: Comparing Policies from San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Suburban Boston" and "Silver Bullet or Trojan Horse? The Effects of Inclusionary Zoning on Local Housing Markets," both published by NYU’s Furman Center.

While zoning codes in more than half of Greater Boston’s cities and towns include some form of inclusionary zoning (IZ), these provisions appear to have produced relatively few units of affordable housing and may have put some upward pressure on housing prices in communities that have adopted them. In contrast, more stringent and widespread IZ provisions in the San Francisco Bay area and counties surrounding Washington, D.C. appear to have been more effective in producing affordable housing. However, due to limitations in the data, we cannot directly compare how IZ provisions have impacted permitting and prices in those two regions.