97% of respondents to our National survey on inclusionary zoning agree that action must be taken to improve housing affordability across the country. Planners, academics, not for profits, developers and private citizens are on board with a mandatory, systemic approach to consistently including social and affordable housing for rent in new residential construction. Inclusionary zoning is a land use planning intervention that mandates a proportion of new residential developments to include social and affordable housing dwellings.
Inclusionary zoning has the potential to significantly increase the supply of affordable housing in Australia if legislated using the recommendations from this National Shelter study.
Our survey respondents also agreed that governments must provide incentives and encouragement to include social and affordable housing in new developments to improve affordability in the housing market. Adrian Pisarski, the Executive Officer of National Shelter said, “Mandatory inclusionary zoning was voted the most popular choice among the survey respondents. This will require a process including incentives and sanctions from the Commonwealth to States which would be a component of a national housing policy, ideally supported by all parties particularly in the lead up to the Federal election”.
The States that have existing inclusionary zoning legislation are a great starting point for the rest of the nation, but existing projects have little real effect on housing affordability at the scale that is needed. Members of the community are directly impacted by housing policy and have joined the fight to improve affordability. We also found that the community needs education and information about housing policy as it is planned and implemented.
Survey respondents also stressed the importance of affordability retention, so that the benefits of inclusionary zoning are not lost, and affordability is maintained long term. Social Housing to rent (25% of household income) was the most important inclusionary zoning goal that we should be pursuing according to survey respondents.