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 ordinances were 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.
- 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.
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.
- Terner Center for Housing Innovation: “Current Practices and Policy Considerations to Improve Implementation of Fees Governed by the Mitigation Fee Act“, 2019
- Full text of AB 1505 (the 2017 “Palmer Fix” bill)
- City of San Jose: Inclusionary Housing Ordinance
- Grounded Solutions Network: “Inclusionary Housing Builds Stronger Communities”
- Grounded Solutions Network: Inclusionary Housing Database Map
- Grounded Solutions Network: Inclusionary Housing Calculator
- Next City: “Mapping the Spread of Inclusionary Housing Policies,” 2018
- Lincoln Institute of Land Policy: “New study looks at hundreds of affordable housing programs across the United States,” 2017
- Urban Land Institute: “The Economics of Inclusionary Zoning,” 2016
- Center for Housing Policy: “Separating Fact from Fiction to Design Effective Inclusionary Housing Programs,” 2016
- Lincoln Institute of Land Policy: “Inclusionary Housing: Creating and Maintaining Equitable Communities,” 2015
- Cornerstone Partnership: “What Now? Understanding What CBIA vs. City of San Jose Means for Inclusionary Housing in California’s Cities,” 2015
- Palmer Sixth Street Properties v Los Angeles
- Center for Urban Policy: “Making Inclusionary Housing More Flexible: Four Ideas for Urban Settings,” July 2015
- Institute for Local Self Government: “California Inclusionary Housing Reader,” 2003
- Santa Clara County Grand Jury Report: Density is our Destiny, June 2018