HOUSING AFFORDABILITY PLAN | Town of Wake Forest
Strategy 1: Expand and Preserve Homeownership
Program Overview The Town can create an Incentive Zoning policy to increase the production of affordable units as part of new market- rate development. In a strong market, an Incentive Zoning program will both increase the number of affordable units and support the development of mixed-income neighborhoods, which can advance access to opportunity for low-income and minority households. The Town can achieve Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) goals by incentivizing affordability and density along future public transportation routes. Today, many North Carolina municipalities accept rezoning applications that voluntarily propose inclusion of affordable units as a condition for approval, which are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Mandating inclusion of affordable units for proposed developments is prohibited under state law. Oftentimes, voluntary inclusion of affordable units makes a rezoning application more palatable in the eyes of the governing body. However, the lack of consistency for this process and the uncertainty of approval is a challenge for developers.
FIGURE 47: DENSITY BONUS DIAGRAM
How Does it Work? The Town would incentivize developers to include affordable homes in market-rate developments by offering density bonuses (Figure 47), reduced zoning regulations (e.g. setbacks, allowable lot coverage), reduced fees or procedural incentives geared towards expediting review times. Further analysis is needed to determine program design.
POTENTIAL DENSITY BONUS
PORTION OF PROJECT DEDICATED
AS AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS
A density bonus is one way to incentivize the creation of affordable units in a development.
1. Study development and affordability targets for the voluntary incentives. 2. Analyze the feasibility and effectiveness of different incentive structures. 3. Calibrate the incentives to adequately address the Town’s market conditions. 4. Plan in coordination with future transit infrastructure. 5. Monitor and adjust requirements over time to reflect changing market conditions.
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