The Coalition for Smarter Growth, in coordination with a number of allied organizations and individuals, works every day for a variety of solutions that can help to make DC a truly inclusive city. Our current work includes:
What is IZ?
There’s no silver bullet for DC’s affordable housing crunch. But this fall, help us make sure one of DC’s most important affordable housing programs lives up to its potential.
This fall, DC’s Zoning Commission will consider whether to strengthen the Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) program. Strengthening IZ is a great idea, and we’ll be talking about it a lot over the next few weeks.
But first, why is IZ such an important program for DC?
IZ uses the market to provide more affordable housing. When new condos or apartments are built, IZ requires 8-10% of them to 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 opportunity for people with modest incomes.
But the prices IZ is offering for more affordable places are a little too high. Many working residents who were meant to be helped by the program haven’t been able to benefit, because the IZ units are still too expensive for them.
In January 2016 (rescheduled meeting notice here [PDF] ), the DC Zoning Commission could change that by doing something we’ve called for all year – lowering the prices and eligible incomes for the program. This could be a big help for a lot of families and we think it’s a very important step forward for DC.
More info and resources from the DC Affordable Housing Alliance program briefing (October 2015)
- Campaign for Inclusionary Zoning Briefing Powerpoint
- Campaign for Inclusionary Zoning Fact Sheet and Testimony Invite
- DC Office of Planning IZ Setdown Report, July 3, 2015
- Campaign for IZ General Comments on Office of Planning’s Setdown Report, October 27, 2015
- What You Need to Know about DC IZ, March 3, 2015
- DC Campaign for Inclusionary Zoning’s Letter to the Zoning Commission, January 7, 2015
- DC Office of Planning IZ Case File (Search for case 04-33G)
- Read our testimony and other resources on inclusionary zoning
Public Land for Public Good
D.C.’s extensive publicly owned lands are a key opportunity for the city to provide affordable housing to very low-income residents – the city can make a certain level of affordable units a requirement of any deal, while also meeting other citywide and neighborhood goals through great mixed-use developments.
Our report Public Land for Public Good provides the city officials and the public with an in-depth look at the city’s track record for producing affordable housing on public land. It offers recommendations as to how D.C. could use publicly owned land to increase the supply of affordable housing while fostering economic diversity, access to jobs, and the vibrancy of our neighborhoods.