Inclusionary Zoning Can Improve Outcomes for Public Housing Residents

Feb 6, 2019
Heather Schwartz, Susan Burkhauser, Beth Ann Griffin, David Kennedy, Harold Green Jr., Alene Kennedy-Hendricks, and Craig Pollack for Housing Policy Debate, How Housing Matters
Research suggests that living in concentrated poverty is harmful to health, well-being, and economic mobility. Inclusionary zoning can break up poverty density by imposing legal requirements to create affordable housing across neighborhoods. In Montgomery County, Maryland, inclusionary zoning laws require developers to set aside 12 to 15 percent of new homes at below-market rates and allow the public housing authority to purchase a portion of these units. As a result, two-thirds of public housing residents in Montgomery County live in economically diverse, low-poverty neighborhoods. To assess the effects of these unique conditions, researchers explored how public housing residents’ social networks, neighborhood perceptions, and health outcomes differ based on their placement in mixed-income communities or traditionally clustered public housing.
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