Beyond Zoning: Comprehensive Approaches to Enabling Housing Equity

Recent, attention-grabbing housing reforms in Portland, Minneapolis, and elsewhere have exposed planners in communities of all sizes to the idea of eliminating single-family zoning to deliver housing equity. However, a larger body of housing regulations still favors single-family housing and discourages other types, including missing-middle. Furthermore, comprehensive plans can spur changes in land use and transportation that affect housing affordability and accessibility. The moderator shares best practices for embedding equity in housing and comprehensive plans and panelists share examples from Charlotte, Memphis, and Kalamazoo. They describe how those cities approached planning and regulatory reform to promote housing equity by eliminating single-family zoning and addressing lot-size requirements, accessory dwelling unit regulations, building codes, and tax codes. Learn about the challenges each community faced in its efforts to advance housing equity and get advice for helping communities talk about equity, overcome resistance, and seek reform compromises.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn best practice advice for promoting housing equity in the city’s comprehensive plan or housing plan.
  • Gain new perspectives on addressing housing equity not only in the zoning code, but also in building codes, tax codes, and other regulations that affect housing.
  • Understand the best approaches to talking about housing equity in planning and implementation and preparing for resistance.

The NPC Peer Reviewers assigned this presentation a learning level of Advanced. For more on learning level descriptions visit our General Information Page.