33 B. C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 383 (2006)
Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning - The Answer to the Affordable Housing Problem

handle is hein.journals/bcenv33 and id is 391 raw text is: MANDATORY INCLUSIONARY ZONING-
THE ANSWER TO THE AFFORDABLE
HOUSING PROBLEM
BRIAN R. LERMAN*
Abstract: Affordable housing has always been a problem in the United
States. Cities and towns originally engaged in forms of discrimination
through exclusionary zoning to exclude low-income residents. While
many of the social attitudes persist today, the question is how to encour-
age new affordable housing development. This Note introduces the
concept of inclusionary zoning as a successful method for creating af-
fordable housing. The Note examines the constitutional analyses used
for land use ordinances. Then, the Note evaluates existing affordable
housing programs, distinguishing between the eastern approach and
the western approach. The eastern approach-represented by NewJer-
sey, Massachusetts, and Montgomery County, Maryland-is based upon
a fair share of affordable housing but lacks any planning requirement.
The western approach, as illustrated by Oregon and California, is based
upon community planning of all necessary elements including afford-
able housing, and have successfully required affordable housing devel-
opment. Ultimately, the Note adopts a perspective that mandatory in-
clusionary zoning in all communities is the best option and should be
valid under an impact fee-like analysis.
INTRODUCTION
Mr. and Mrs. Smith live with their three children on two in-
comes-totaling less than thirty thousand dollars-in the Seattle area.'
The Smiths spend nearly two-thirds of their income on rent in a com-
munity where they fear for their family's safety.2 After much effort, the
Smiths have qualified for the purchase of affordable housing in a new
* Editor in Chief, BOSTON COLLEGE ENVtRONMENTAL AFFAIRS LAW REVIEW, 2005-06.
B.A., Boston College, 2003. The author would like to thank his friends and family, and
ProfessorJon Witten, without whom this article would not have been possible.
IThis hypothetical is adapted from a profile of a family benefiting from affordable
housing in Good Neighbors, Affordable Family Housing, Meet Your Neighbors: Resident Profile
(on file with author).
2 Id.; see also California Budget Project, Locked Out: California's Affordable Housing Crisis,
in CALIFORNIA INCLUSIONARY HOUSING READER 3, 4 (Inst. for Local Self Gov't ed., 2003)
[hereinafter READER] (discussing enormous burden of rising rents).

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