Affordable housing advocates in Louisiana were handed a significant defeat this week when the Louisiana House of Representatives approved a ban on inclusionary zoning.
The bill, which was approved this week in a 61-29 vote, must now pass through the Louisiana Senate and procure Gov. John Bel Edwards’ signature before taking effect, according to an article in The Times-Picayune.
Inclusionary zoning is a type of policy meant to promote affordable housing by mandating the inclusion of an affordable portion in new housing developments.
This is a win for development groups like the Louisiana Home Builders Association, which told Louisiana legislators that inclusionary zoning has so burdened market-rate developments that they have become more trouble to build than they are worth, according to The Times-Picayune.
Opposition leader, State Representative Walt Leger, D-New Orleans said passing this bill would effectively gut local governments of any ability they have to influence their own housing markets.
“What this bill is designed to do is to take the authority as it relates to affordable housing from local governments, who know best about the housing market … and have us decide that here in the state of Louisiana,” Leger said on the floor according to The Times-Picayune.
“If you support local governments and their ability to set zoning policy, you simply can’t vote for this bill,” Leger added.
Louisiana’s move against inclusionary zoning comes at a time when affordable housing is at the forefront nearly every housing professional’s mind. Most researchers agree there is a shortage of affordable housing in the U.S., and it appears that it will only get worse as multifamily rents and home prices continue to rise.