Affordable Housing Finance

Inclusionary Housing in the United States: Prevalence, Impact, and Practices

Published: 2017 | Emily Thaden, Ruoniu Wang | Lincoln Institute of Land Policy


Inclusionary housing refers to any programs or policies that require or incentivize the creation of affordable housing when new development occurs, including impact or linkage fees that generate revenue for affordable housing. Through the most comprehensive investigation on inclusionary housing conducted to date, this study identifies 886 jurisdictions with inclusionary housing programs located in 25 states and the District of Columbia at the end of 2016. The vast majority of jurisdictions with inclusionary housing are located in New Jersey (45 percent), Massachusetts (27 percent), and California (17 percent). These places have state-wide inclusionary housing policies or state policies that promote the local adoption of inclusionary housing policies. Many jurisdictions reported having more than one inclusionary housing policy; a total of 1,379 were identified in 791 jurisdictions on which this information was available… This study supports that inclusionary housing programs are an increasingly prevalent tool for producing affordable housing. Additionally, local inclusionary housing programs are: (1) prioritizing on-site affordable housing development, which may be an effective strategy to place affordable housing in neighborhoods of opportunity; and (2) ensuring long-term affordability, which is an effective way to maintain community assets and the affordable housing stock.