Development Incentives

Five-story apartment building under construction.

How to Improve the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

With the housing shortage only getting worse, updates to a key federal program could help.

February 21, 2024 - Federation of American Scientists

View looking up at vintage neon PORTLAND sign and modern high-rise building in Portland, Oregon.

Portland Council to Consider Zoning Amendments

The proposed zoning and land use changes would offer bigger incentives for developers of ‘moderately priced’ housing and relax some restrictions that builders say drive up the cost of construction.

January 15, 2024 - The Oregonian

Brick New York City apartment buildings with fire escapes and high-rise under construction in background.

New York Launches New Housing Financing Initiative

The program is aimed at supporting housing projects with 70 percent or more affordable units.

December 28, 2023 - Commercial Observer

View of Washington D.C. Capitol dome through high-rise buildings in various states of construction.

DC ‘Vacant to Vibrant’ Properties Remain Vacant

The city auctioned off 58 lots at low prices to stimulate housing development. Half are still vacant.

December 14, 2023 - The Washington Post

Phialdelphia skyline at sunset with close-up of bridge in foreground.

How Effective are Philadelphia’s Keystone Opportunity Zones?

The impacts of a tax break designed to create jobs, stimulate development, and reduce blight are proving hard to track.

December 13, 2023 - Next City

Sunset view of downtown Nashville, Tennessee skyline from across a river.

Report: The Potential for Affordable Housing Partnerships in Nashville

Incentivizing development on institutionally owned land could help boost the city’s affordable housing supply.

November 16, 2023 - Urban Institute

Aerial view of downtown Chandler, Arizona with desert hills in background.

Arizona Town Expands Infill Incentive District

The Chandler City Council voted to add the city’s downtown and other areas to an incentive program that supports infill development.

November 15, 2023 - Chandler News

View looking up at high-rise Art Deco Atlanta City Hall building.

Atlanta Approves New Affordable Housing and Eviction Protection Funds

Several city resolutions will fund projects that help residents find housing and eviction prevention services.

October 19, 2023 - Rough Draft Atlanta

Large homes in neighborhood covered in snow in Missoula, Montana with mountains in background gainst sunset sky.

Missoula Approves Tax Increment Financing for Workforce Housing

The funding mechanism exchanges public funding for a certain number of affordable units.

October 16, 2023 - The Missoulian

View of colorful apartment building facade in Montreal, Canada

Montreal Developers Prefer to Pay Rather Than Build Affordable Housing

Housing advocates say a 2021 bylaw aimed at building more affordable housing units is too lenient, letting developers opt out by paying a fee some consider too low.

August 24, 2023 - Vice

View of houses and buildings in Portland, Maine

Maine Program Funds Rural Affordable Housing

Developers can access up to $185,000 per unit to build affordable multifamily rental housing in small towns.

July 16, 2023 - Next City

Detroit Sports Arena

$616 Million in Development Incentives Approved for District Detroit

The “Transformational Brownfield” incentives approved by the Detroit City Council for the $1.5 billion District Detroit still require approval by the state.

March 31, 2023 - Detroit Free Press

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland City Council Wants More Community Benefits From Developers

A proposed measure would require developers receiving city incentives to provide more benefits to local stakeholders and increase local hiring.

March 7, 2023 - Signal Cleveland

Apartment buildings under construction with crane.

A Menu of Proposed Housing Policy Reforms

The Mercatus Center published a list of 16 policy recommendations designed to help states clear local obstacles for housing construction.

September 7, 2022 - Mercatus Center

A row of homes, some brightly colored, on a sunny day in Austin, Texas.

Austin Considering Zoning Tools to Support Affordable Housing Development

An expansion of the city’s vertical mixed-use (VMU) affordable development program is the furthest along of a package of reforms intended to spur the construction of affordable housing.

June 2, 2022 - Community Impact Newspaper

An image of stadium seats at Petco Park in San Diego, with new buildings under construction nearby in the background.

What Is a Density Bonus?

A density bonus offers development permissions beyond what's allowed by a zoning code as an incentive for developers to contribute to desired policy goals. Density bonus programs can offer numerous forms of incentives, and can be used as an incentive to address a variety of policy goals.

March 24, 2022 - James Brasuell

Riverside, California

More States Consider Tax Breaks for Low-Income Housing Developers

Legislators in five U.S. states this year will consider laws that create a state tax incentive program for low-income housing developers.

March 7, 2022 - Pew Stateline

Philadelphia Construction

Affordable Housing Bonus Program Expanded in Philadelphia

The city of Philadelphia launched a height and density bonus in 2018 to create incentives for the development of affordable housing, but so far the results have proven underwhelming.

October 5, 2021 - PlanPhilly

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Statewide Zoning Reform Proposed in Minnesota

The proposed Comprehensive Housing Affordability Act would trade development fees for zoning relief.

August 24, 2021 - The Center Square

Boise Idaho

Boise Plans for 'Urban Renewal District'

The proposal seeks to sustainably manage development along State Street, support local businesses, and improve public transit and pedestrian infrastructure in the area.

June 28, 2021 - BoiseDev

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