Volume 27
Issue 1
Fall '19

Making Inclusionary Zoning More Inclusive: How D.C. Should Reform Its Inclusionary Zoning Policy to Account for Income, Racial, and Geographic Segregation

Written By: Tracey Zhang

Abstract

Washington, D.C. has experienced major demographic shifts in the past few decades as white, upwardly mobile individuals increasingly moved into the city. These changes have simultaneously resulted in high levels of displacement for older residents in gentrifying neighborhoods. In response to the displacement of lower income, predominantly Black residents, the D.C. government has implemented an inclusionary zoning (IZ) policy. D.C.’s inclusionary zoning policy requires developers to allocate the greater of 8–10% of total square footage or 50–70% of the bonus density for affordable housing. Inclusionary zoning is a step in the right direction but fails to play a more expansive and effective role in affordable housing production. In particular, the policy currently ignores the realities of D.C.’s income, racial, and geographic segregation. This paper argues that inclusionary zoning laws in D.C. should take a graduated, ward-specific approach for delineating median family income qualifications and percentage set-aside requirements, with a focus on increasing the affordability of IZ units for the lowest income individuals, the number of affordable housing units created, and the level of integration in these communities.

Keep Reading Making Inclusionary Zoning More Inclusive: How D.C. Should Reform Its Inclusionary Zoning Policy to Account for Income, Racial, and Geographic Segregation

Subscribe to GJPLP