DC Council Lauded for Action on Affordable Housing Law


For Immediate Release

October 21, 2008

Contact: Cheryl Cort 202-244-4408 ext. 112 or 202-251-7516



Council steps in to ensure Inclusionary Zoning will be implemented, a law long delayed by the Fenty Administration


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On October 21, the D.C. Council voted unanimously to ensure that the long delayed Inclusionary Zoning affordable housing law is implemented. Championed by Chairman Vincent Gray and Councilmember Jim Graham, the bill fully reflects the position of the Campaign for Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning, which has repeatedly requested implementation by the Mayor since original legislation was approved in December 2006.

“Affordable housing remains a high priority for the residents of the District of Columbia,” said Chairman Gray. “Inclusionary Zoning is one of the many important tools this Council has supported to achieve it.”

Added Councilmember Graham, “We really need to move forward with these requirements.”

“We applaud the leadership of Chairman Gray and the D.C. Council, affirming the need to implement this critically important program immediately,” said Cheryl Cort, Policy Director for the Coalition for Smarter Growth and spokesperson for the Campaign for Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning. “Residents across the District do not have the luxury of waiting while opportunities to create more affordable housing are lost.”

Members of the Campaign for Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning believe the year and a half wait for IZ is long enough — “the city needs to do something for people who have been here a long time and are getting pushed out,” said Pocahontas Outlaw, Board Member, D.C. ACORN.

Known as “IZ,” Inclusionary Zoning has long been sought as a tool to help address the significant need for affordable housing in the District of Columbia. Having garnered overwhelming support from the D.C. Zoning Commission, the D.C. Council unanimously endorsed IZ in December 2006, and directed the Mayor to produce implementing regulations to administer the program.

However, the Mayor’s administration still has not finalized regulations for the law. In January 2008, the Council set a deadline for the Mayor to publish the implementing regulations, which he did. However, after six months, the regulations remain only in draft. Today, the Council set the deadline for completing the final regulations so the law can go into effect.

Inclusionary Zoning is a national best practice that requires all new developments of 10 units or more to set aside 8-10 percent of the housing units as affordable to low and moderate-income residents. This approach allows private housing developers to help address a locality’s increasing affordable housing demand at virtually no additional cost to the city. IZ is incorporated into the District’s 2006 Comprehensive Plan.