Affordable housing has always been a problem in the United States. Cities and towns originally engaged in forms of discrimination through exclusionary zoning to exclude low-income residents. While many of the social attitudes persist today, the question is how to encourage new affordable housing development. This Note introduces the concept of inclusionary zoning as a successful method for creating affordable housing. The Note examines the constitutional analyses used for land use ordinances. Then, the Note evaluates existing affordable housing programs, distinguishing between the eastern approach and the western approach. The eastern approach—represented by New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Montgomery County, Maryland—is based upon a “fair share” of affordable housing but lacks any planning requirement. The western approach, as illustrated by Oregon and California, is based upon community planning of all necessary elements including affordable housing, and have successfully required affordable housing development. Ultimately, the Note adopts a perspective that mandatory inclusionary zoning in all communities is the best option and should be valid under an impact fee-like analysis.
Brian R. Lerman,
Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning--The Answer to Affordable Housing Problem,
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.