Housing Crisis In Black America: Groundbreaking Inclusionary Zoning Report Released By Prosperity Now

Report called “Zoning In: How inclusionary Zoning Increases Affordable Housing for Communities of Color to Build Wealth.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Prosperity Now, the nation’s leading racial and ethnic economic justice organization, Tuesday announced the launch of its newest Scorecard Policy Report called “Zoning In: How inclusionary Zoning Increases Affordable Housing for Communities of Color to Build Wealth.”

The report represents an ambitious attempt at three goals: 1) providing a central public awareness moment on exactly what zoning is while 2) offering accessible insights into how zoning policies and practices have created deep pockets of racial economic inequality as 3) part of a larger objective to push state and local policymakers towards a unified and equitable inclusionary zoning (or “IZ”) model.

Prosperity Now’s Lauren Bealore, Associate Director of State & Local Policy,Alejandra Montoya-Boyer, Director of Policy, and Aniket Mehrotra, Policy Intern at Prosperity Now, provided the research and expertise for what is considered the most updated publicly-available working report on inclusionary zoning best practice. Not only does it offer a historical analysis on the history of policies that targeted, suppressed and excluded marginalized Black, Brown and Indigenous households, but provides context and guidance for elected officials, policymakers, and advocates to help implement or improve IZ policies in their jurisdictions, including:

Discussions on the origins of the racial wealth gap in the US, specifically in the context of housing and zoning policies and practices,
Descriptions on the current state of racial economic inequality and the current policy landscape of zoning,
Strategies on advocating for the adoption of IZ programs in cities and states nationally, and
Innovative solutions to produce the most effective IZ programs.

“Many communities are in crisis, but Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) are enduring the heaviest levels of hardship—especially while facing our current stark housing unaffordability and astronomical cost of living,” said Bealore. “Inclusionary zoning is one essential practice that could alleviate that stress by eliminating legacies of racism that continue to burden these communities to this day. Secure housing and generation of wealth is the surest way long distressed communities can achieve prosperity.”

“We really wanted to show all the direct linkages between exclusionary and violently discriminatory practices from centuries ago and the profound inequality that exists today,” said Montoya-Boyer. “The history lesson of the problem, we feel, is many times just as important as the policy prescription. Through this exercise, we arrive at a better and much more equitable place.”

The report is free and easily accessible at Prosperity Now’s website here: https://prosperitynow.org/resources/zoning. More information, discussion and upcoming public events – including virtual summits – will be announced at ProsperityNow.org and via @ProsperityNow on social media.

Since 1979, Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) has been a persistent voice championing economic opportunity, innovating outside of and beyond existing systems to build power for all communities. We advance racial and ethnic economic justice by investing in bold new ideas, and we work deeply at both the grassroots and national level to impact the entire ecosystem. By setting goals for our economy and following through with targeted approaches based on need, we are equipped to drive forward and cement big structural solutions. Gary Cunningham is the President and CEO. Visit us at www.prosperitynow.org.

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