Last week, the Department of City Planning announced a new zoning text amendment that, if passed, would update the city’s inclusionary housing program.  Established in 1987 in the city’s highest-density districts, and expanded in 2005 to both medium- and high-density areas, the inclusionary zoning provides developers with a floor area bonus in exchange for the creation or preservation of affordable housing, either on-site or within the community district.  DCP estimates that the program has created or preserved 1,770 units of affordable housing since 2005, most of which are units available to households earning less than 80% of the area median income (AMI).

The most significant change proposed in the text amendment is the addition of a permanently affordable home ownership option.  Currently, all affordable units created through inclusionary zoning are rental.  The amendment would dictate a restricted sale price, making inclusionary ownership units available to households making 80% AMI.  It would also cap appreciation of these units at a level affordable to those making 125% AMI.

DCP has created a presentation outlining these and other proposed changes here. The amendment is currently under review by community boards and borough presidents, and DCP will hold a public hearing after April 27.