What is IZ?
Inclusionary zoning, or IZ, is a program that uses the market to provide more affordable housing. When new condos or apartments are built, IZ requires 8-10% of them to be rented or sold more affordably — only to people making below a certain income. In return, home builders can build a few extra market rate units in order to offset the difference in overall cost.
IZ is not a magic bullet for DC’s affordable housing crisis, but it is part of a toolbox of solutions that can make a big dent in our affordability problem. That toolbox also includes:
- Building more market-rate housing to better meet strong demand
- Preserving the affordable housing we already have
- Investing more in the production of new affordable homes
- Making better use of city-owned land to provide affordable and mixed-income housing
We like IZ because it’s a way to harness DC’s building boom to ensure more affordable places. Plus, it helps to create more socio-economic diversity in otherwise wealthy neighborhoods — which makes for more vibrant, interesting places and greater opportunities for people with modest incomes.
Where We Are Now
It’s official – we just won a major victory to make IZ truly affordable! In December, Mayor Bowser published the final changes to make sure the new IZ regulations are in effect. That means over 2600 more apartments available to low-income DC families over the next 5-10 years.
On October 17, 2016, the DC Zoning Commission voted to support lowering the income eligibility levels for IZ so that the program can meet the true need for more affordable housing. The DC Council and Mayor Bowser made implementation of these changes possible in 2017.
The new rules will require that most new residential developments provide IZ rental units affordable at 60% of median family income, and all condos at 80% median family income. The set-asides remain the same – 8-10% of the total residential space.
We are so grateful for all your support in making these changes possible. Together, we’ve made an important contribution to the push for affordable housing District-wide!
We’ve sent these email action alerts to our subscribers about inclusionary zoning (IZ). They’re an excellent way to get up-to-speed on the issue quickly!
More resources on inclusionary zoning (IZ):
- Press release: Zoning Commission takes important step to strengthen affordable housing in the District
- Affordable Housing to Expand in DC With Vote to Strengthen Inclusionary Zoning, DC Fiscal Policy Institute
- D.C. Zoning Commission Allots More Affordable Units For Lower Income Families, DCist
- Zoning Commission Votes to Make Inclusionary Zoning More Inclusive, DC Urban Turf
- Testimony in response to the DC Building Industry Association (DCBIA) (July 13, 2016)
- Additional testimony to DC Zoning Commission (July 13, 2016)
- Coalition’s statement of support to Zoning Commission (March 3, 2016)
- Fact sheet: Making IZ Affordable
- Advocates’ Briefing on how IZ works (October 2015)
- Briefing PowerPoint: Changes to make IZ more affordable (January 2016)
- DC Office of Planning IZ Case File (Search for case 04-33G)