Denver Debates Inclusionary Housing Plan

Atlanta's inclusionary housing program, which closely reflects the proposed Denver plan, could serve as a bellwether for Denver's own future.

2 minute read

March 1, 2022, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Colorado State Capitol Building

Nicholas Courtney / Shutterstock

According to an article by Joe Rubino in The Denver Post, "As Denver’s version of inclusionary zoning inches forward (and some development industry groups cringe) the city of Atlanta and its program stand out as a comparable example of the concept in action." 

Rubino points out that Georgia, like Colorado, prohibits rent control at the state level. This leaves cities like Atlanta and Denver with limited options for increasing affordable housing, which primarily include incentives for developers. "Unlike Denver, Atlanta’s program is focused largely on new apartment projects of 10 or more units in targeted parts of the city. It was recently expanded to cover for-sale housing in one neighborhood. In Denver, the policy would apply to any new development of 10 or more rental or for-sale units anywhere within city borders."

As Rubino writes, Atlanta's program created hundreds of affordable units in its three years of operation, and was not shown to decrease the rate of construction, a common fear. Rubino quotes Joshua Humphries, Atlanta’s director of housing and community development: "Multi-family (development) has continued at a comparable pace to the three years before inclusionary zoning and comparable to the rest of the city."

The article describes Atlanta's program in more detail and the response from the Atlanta Apartment Association, which disputed the city's claim that development wasn't slowed by the policy and added that many projects moved forward thanks to additional subsidies or funding sources.

Denver could finalize its inclusionary housing policy by late June.

Monday, February 28, 2022 in The Denver Post

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