(Srikanta H.U./Unsplash)

A new “Housing Developers Toolkit” released by the White House outlines a range of zoning and local policy changes that can spur development of affordable housing. Among them are the elimination of off-street parking requirements, which the paper states “generally impose an undue burden on housing development, particularly for transit-oriented or affordable housing.”

The document notes that  “local barriers to housing development have intensified, particularly in the high-growth metropolitan areas increasingly fueling the national economy. The accumulation of such barriers—including zoning, other land use regulations, and lengthy development approval processes—has reduced the ability of many housing markets to respond to growing demand.”

Many of the policies espoused by ULI’s Terwilliger Center for Housing in such reports as Bending the Cost Curve and The Economics of Inclusionary Development, are echoed in the toolkit. Speaking to Wired, Stockton Williams, executive director of ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, praised the report, saying, “Affordability is increasingly understood to be a problem that affects people beyond those in the lowest income bracket.”

The policy recommendations also include:

  • Establishing by-right development
  • Taxing vacant land or donating it to non-profit developers
  • Streamlining or shortening permitting processes and timelines
  • Allowing accessory dwelling units
  • Establishing density bonuses
  • Enacting high-density and multifamily zoning
  • Employing inclusionary zoning
  • Establishing development tax or value capture incentives
  • Using property tax abatements