Inclusionary housing policies require or encourage developers to set aside a certain percentage of housing units in newly constructed or rehabilitated projects for low- and moderate-income residents. By creating mixed-income developments, people from different socio-economic backgrounds are given the opportunity to access the same services and amenities, addressing federal fair housing obligations.

For a number of years, inclusionary housing was only legal for for-sale housing in California due to the Palmer Sixth Street Properties v Los Angeles court case. This changed in January 1, 2018 when new law created by AB 1505 went into effect. This new law recognizes the authority of local jurisdictions to require that new rental developments offer a proportion of their units at affordable rates.

Learn more in our Inclusionary Housing White Paper

Map: Which cities in Santa Clara County have NOT adopted inclusionary housing policies?

Answer: Gilroy, Los Altos Hills, Monte Sereno,  and Saratoga. All ten of the other cities in the County have established inclusionary housing policies. Click on the map to learn more about each city’s inclusionary housing requirements.

SV@Home’s Position: We need to increase the production of affordable housing

SV@Home supports inclusionary housing policies and advocates for affordable housing as a community benefit in all residential and mixed-use developments.

Key components of a successful inclusionary housing ordinance include:

  • A minimum of 15% of the units in approved projects restricted at an average of 60% of Area Median Income (AMI) with at least two different income levels.
  • A minimum of 15% of the units in approved for-sale developments restricted to moderate-income households at an average of 100% of AMI with at least two different income levels.
  • Affordable homes that have the same amenities as market rate units and are integrated into the development.
  • Alternative compliance options that may include enabling developers to partner with nonprofit developers, paying an in lieu fee, and building a standalone affordable development.

Learn more in our Inclusionary Housing White Paper

Important Dates:

  • In October 2017, Governor Brown signed AB 1505, authored by Assemblymembers Bloom, Chiu, and Gloria, which clarifies that the ability to establish local inclusionary ordinances for rental housing is included within a jurisdiction’s zoning authority. This action negated the impact of the Palmer v. City of Los Angeles ruling. As a result, cities are now in the process of reinstating their rental inclusionary programs.
  • In February 2016, the US Supreme Court declined to review a challenge brought by the California Building Industry Association, which questioned the validity of local inclusionary ordinances for for-sale housing. This decision removed any questions over the ability for local government to adopt and implement inclusionary ordinances for for-sale housing. San Jose’s ordinance, which had been held up since it was approved by the City Council in 2010, went into effect in July of 2016.

Additional Resources

MORE NEWS