The District’s rollout of an inclusionary zoning program left something to be desired, but Robert McCartney’s Nov. 2 Metro column, “ ‘Rich guy’ will survive D.C. condo debacle, but the needy won’t,” tarred the program with too broad a brush.
Focusing on the case of an aggrieved developer, Mr. McCartney claimed “scant results” for the program, which mandates a small percentage of affordable housing in most new developments. Mr. McCartney focused on the handful of for-sale units on the market, not the booming rental market. Riding this wave, dozens of inclusionary zoning rental units are being leased in new market-rate buildings throughout the city.
While the program needs to be strengthened, inclusionary zoning is showing benefits. Moderately priced housing units are being integrated into nearly every new residential development. That means desirable neighborhoods such as Chevy Chase, Dupont Circle, 14th and U, and NoMa will be affordable for more people.
Inclusionary zoning is a work in progress, but it’s already delivering on its promise to make exclusive and rapidly changing neighborhoods more accessible for working-class and middle-class residents.
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