Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 569–590 | Cite as

Do inclusionary zoning policies equitably disperse affordable housing? A comparative spatial analysis

  • Constantine E. KontokostaEmail author


This article examines the impact of inclusionary zoning (IZ) policies on the production and spatial distribution of low-income housing at the neighborhood level. Using an original, geo-coded property-specific database of more than 11,000 IZ units built between 1980 and 2000 in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Suffolk County, New York, this study provides the first evidence of the locational determinants of IZ unit production and spatial clustering by census tracts. Using a comparative analytic approach, the impact of institutional framework—more specifically, the difference between jurisdictions with regional versus local housing and land use authority—is examined in relation to the effectiveness of IZ programs in promoting an equitable dispersal of low-income housing units. This analysis provides evidence of spatial concentrations of IZ units built between 1980 and 2000, although the characteristics of neighborhoods in which clustering occurs differ between the two study areas.


Spatial analytics Low-income housing Affordable housing Inclusionary zoning Social equity 


  1. Basolo, V., & Hastings, D. (2003). Obstacles to regional housing solutions: A comparison of four metropolitan areas. Journal of Urban Affairs, 25, 449–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Basolo, V., & Scally, C. P. (2008). State innovations in affordable housing policy: Lessons from California and New Jersey. Housing Policy Debate, 19, 741–774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brunick, N. J. (2004). The inclusionary housing debate: The effectiveness of mandatory over voluntary programs. Zoning Practice, 9(1), 1–7.Google Scholar
  4. Calavita, N., & Grimes, K. (1998). Inclusionary housing in California: The experience of two decades. Journal of the American Planning Association, 64, 150–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Calavita, N., Grimes, K., & Mallach, A. (1997). Inclusionary zoning in California and New Jersey: A comparative analysis. Housing Policy Debate, 8, 109–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clapp, J. M., & Wang, Y. (2006). Defining neighborhood boundaries: Are census tracts obsolete? Journal of Urban Economics, 59, 259–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cowan, S. M. (2006). Anti-snob land use laws, suburban exclusion, and housing opportunity. Journal of Urban Affairs, 28, 295–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cutler, D. M., Glaeser, E. L., & Vigdor, J. L. (1999). The rise and decline of the American Ghetto. Journal of Political Economy, 107, 455–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dain, A. (2006). Residential land use regulation in Eastern Massachusetts: A study of 187 communities. Cambridge, MA: Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research.Google Scholar
  10. Danielson, K. A., Land, R. E., & Fulton, W. (1999). Retracting Suburbia: Smart growth and the future of housing. Housing Policy Debate, 10, 513–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dear, M. (1992). Understanding and overcoming the NIMBY syndrome. Journal of the American Planning Association, 58, 288–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Downs, A. (2005). Smart growth: Why we discuss it more than we do it. Journal of the American Planning Association, 71, 367–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ellen, I., O’Regan, K., & Voicu, I. (2009). Siting, Spillovers, and Segregation: A Re-examination of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. In Edward Glaeser & John Quigley (Eds.), Housing markets and the economy: Risk, regulation, policy; essays in honor of Karl Case (pp. 233–267). Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute for Land Policy.Google Scholar
  14. Fischel, W. A. (1985). The economics of zoning laws: A property rights approach to American land use controls. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Fischel, W. A. (2005). The Homevoter hypothesis: How home values influence local government taxation, school finance, and land-use policies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Freeman, L. (2004). Siting affordable housing: Location and neighborhood trends of low-income housing tax credit developments in the 1990s. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  17. Fuerst, F., Kontokosta, C. E., & McAllister, P. (2014). Determinants of green building adoption. Environment and Planning B, 41, 551–570.Google Scholar
  18. Gaber, S. L. (1996). From NIMBY to fair share: The development of New York City’s Municipal Shelter Siting Policies, 1980–1990. Urban Geography, 17, 294–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Galster, G. C. (2007). Should policy makers strive for neighborhood social mix? An analysis of the Western European evidence base. Housing Studies, 22, 523–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Galster, G. C., Booza, J., & Cutsinger, J. (2008). Income diversity within neighborhoods and very low-income families. Cityscape, 10, 257–300.Google Scholar
  21. Glaeser, E. L., Gyourko, J., & Saks, R. E. (2005). Why have housing prices gone up? NBER Working Paper No. 11129.Google Scholar
  22. Goetz, E. G. (2003). Housing dispersal programs. Journal of Planning Literature, 18, 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gu, X. S., & Rosenbaum, P. R. (1993). Comparison of multivariate matching methods: Structures, distances, and algorithms. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 2, 405–420.Google Scholar
  24. Jencks, C., & Petersen, P. E. (1991). The urban underclass. Washington, DC: Brookings.Google Scholar
  25. Katz, L., & Rosen, K. T. (1987). The interjurisdictional effects of growth controls on housing prices. Journal of Law and Economics, 149–160.Google Scholar
  26. Khadduri, J., & Martin, M. (1997). Mixed-income housing in the HUD multifamily stock. Cityscape, 3, 33–69.Google Scholar
  27. Knaap, G. (1990). State land use planning and inclusionary zoning: Evidence from Oregon. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 10, 39–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Knaap, G., & Talen, E. (2005). New urbanism and smart growth: Notes from the academy. International Regional Science Review, 28, 107–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kontokosta, C. E. (2014). Mixed-income housing and neighborhood integration: Evidence from inclusionary zoning programs. Journal of Urban Affairs, 36, 716–741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Larson, B. A. (2004). Incumbent Contributions to the Congressional Campaign Committees, 1990–2000. Political Research Quarterly, 57, 155–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Massey, D. S., & Denton, N. A. (1993). American apartheid. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Meltzer, R., & Schuetz, J. (2010). What drives the diffusion of inclusionary zoning? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 29, 578–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mukhija, V., Regus, L., Slovin, S., & Das, A. (2010). Can inclusionary zoning be an effective and efficient housing policy? Evidence from Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Journal of Urban Affairs, 32, 229–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Oakley, D. (2008). Locational patterns of low income housing tax credit developments: A sociospatial analysis of four metropolitan areas. Urban Affairs Review, 43, 599–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Papke, L. E., & Wooldridge, J. M. (1996). Econometric methods for fractional response variables with an application to 401(k) plan participation rates. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 11, 619–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pendall, R. (1999). Opposition to housing: NIMBY and beyond. Urban Affairs Review, 35, 112–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pendall, R. (2000). Local land use regulation and the chain of exclusion. Journal of the American Planning Association, 66, 125–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pendall, R. (2009). How might inclusionary zoning affect urban form? In Nancy Pindus, Howard Wial, & Harold Wolman (Eds.), Urban and regional policy and its effects (Vol. 2, pp. 223–256). Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  39. Pendall, R., Puentes, R., & Martin, J. (2006). From traditional to reformed: A review of the land use regulations in the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. Brookings Institution Research Brief. Google Scholar
  40. Popkin, S. J., Katz, B., Cunningham, M., Brown, K. D., Gustafson, J., & Turner, M. (2004). A decade of hope VI: Research findings and policy challenges. Washington, DC: Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  41. Porter, D. R. (2004). The promise and practice of inclusionary zoning. In A. Downs (Ed.), Growth management and affordable housing: Do they conflict?. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  42. Porter, D. R., & Davison, E. B. (2009). Evaluation of In-Lieu fees and offsite construction as incentives for affordable housing production. Cityscape, 11, 27–60.Google Scholar
  43. Quillian, L. (2002). Why Is Black-White Residential Segregation So Persistent?: Evidence on Three Theories from Migration Data. Social Science Research, 31, 197–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Quigley, J. M., & Rosenthal, L. A. (2005). The effects of land use regulation on the price of housing: what do we know? What can we learn? Cityscape, 8, 69–137.Google Scholar
  45. Rohe, W. M., & Freeman, L. (2001). Assisted housing and residential segregation: The role of race and ethnicity in the siting of assisted housing developments. Journal of the American Planning Association, 67, 279–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rosenbaum, P. R., & Rubin, D. B. (1985). The bias due to incomplete matching. Biometrics, 41, 103–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rubin, D. B., & Thomas, N. (1996). Matching using estimated propensity scores: Relating theory to practice. Biometrics, 52, 249–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ryan, S., & Enderle, B. E. (2012). Examining spatial patterns in affordable housing: The case of California density bonus implementation. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 27, 413–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sarkissian, W. (1976). The idea of social mix in town planning: An historical review. Urban Studies, 13, 231–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Schill, M. H. (1993). Distressed public housing: Where do we go from here? University of Chicago Law Review, 60, 497–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schively, C. (2007). Understanding the NIMBY and LULU phenomena: Reassessing our knowledge base and informing future research. Journal of Planning Literature, 21, 255–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schuetz, J., Meltzer, R., & Been, V. (2009). 31 Flavors of inclusionary zoning: Comparing policies from San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Suburban Boston. Journal of the American Planning Association, 75, 441–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Schuetz, J., Meltzer, R., & Been, V. (2011). Silver bullet or Trojan horse? The effects of inclusionary zoning on local housing markets in the United States. Urban Studies, 48, 297–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Schwartz, A. F., & Tajbakhsh, K. (1997). Mixed-income housing: unanswered questions. Cityscape, 3, 71–92.Google Scholar
  55. Sigelman, L., & Zeng, L. (1999). Analyzing censored and sample-selected data with Tobit and Heckit models. Political Analysis, 8, 167–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Smith, A. (2002). Mixed-Income Housing Developments: Promise and Reality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, Joint Center for Housing Studies.Google Scholar
  57. Trombka, A., et al. (2004). Strengthening the moderately priced dwelling unit program: A 30 year review. Rockville, MD: Montgomery County Council.Google Scholar
  58. Van Zandt, S., & Mhatre, P. C. (2009). Growing pains: Perpetuating inequality through the production of low-income housing in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Urban Geography, 30, 490–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Von Hoffman, A. (1996). High ambitions: The past and future of american low-income housing policy. Housing Policy Debate, 7, 423–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. White, M. J. (1986). Segregation and diversity measures in population distribution. Population Index, 52, 198–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wilson, W. J. (1987). The truly disadvantaged. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  62. Wish, N. B., & Eisdorfer, S. (1997). The impact of Mount Laurel Initiatives: An analysis of the characteristics of applicants and occupants. Seton Hall Law Review, 27, 1268–1337.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Urban Science and Progress & Polytechnic School of EngineeringNew York UniversityBrooklynUSA

Personalised recommendations