HUD Targets Zoning in Affordable Housing Push


Local zoning generally cedes more space to single-family homes than multifamily, HUD says, and it’s releasing new data that backs up recommendations for change.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a new publication that summarizes the effects of zoning policies on housing supply, location and affordability. HUD says it’s going to highlight reforms local governments can take to increase the supply of housing.

As part of that process, HUD issued a land-use and zoning-focused brief – the inaugural issue of the Office of Policy Development and Research’s (PD&R) new Policy & Practice publication. HUD says the goal is to “share innovative solutions to help local policymakers and practitioners address housing and community development challenges.”

In addition to releasing the brief, HUD also announced an award of $350,000 to Cornell University’s National Zoning Atlas. HUD says the money will help solve “data gaps” in understanding the relationship between zoning laws and segregation, affordability and other outcomes of interest.

In earlier efforts, the National Zoning Atlas helped push local and state regulatory reforms by demonstrating how excessive restrictive zoning slows housing production and exacerbates the housing shortage.

“HUD is highlighting promising reforms that can create more housing … while also taking steps to improve data and understanding around the impacts of zoning,” says Solomon Greene, the principal deputy assistant secretary within HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research.

The Biden-Harris Administration’s Housing Supply Action Plan previously cited the role land use and zoning laws play in reducing housing development and raising prices.

As part of HUD’s administrative actions, it’s currently accepting requests for technical assistance to help local governments ensure housing needs are considered as part of their larger infrastructure investment plans.

© 2023 Florida Realtors®

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