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Cityscape: Volume 23 Number 1 | Regulatory Reform and Affordable Housing


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Regulatory Reform and Affordable Housing

Volume 23 Number 1

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Los Angeles’ Housing Crisis and Local Planning Responses: An Evaluation of Inclusionary Zoning and the Transit-Oriented Communities Plan as Policy Solutions in Los Angeles

Linna Zhu
Urban Institute

Evgeny Burinskiy
University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy

Jorge De la Roca
University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy

Richard K. Green
University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy,
Marshall School of Business, and Lusk Center for Real Estate

Marlon G. Boarnet
University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy

Los Angeles has a housing crisis. As a result, in 2016, Los Angeles County voters passed a local ballot measure, Measure JJJ, which created a new inclusionary zoning program near rail transit stations. That program has since performed substantially better, in terms of building permits and time for review, than the previously existing density bonus program. In this paper, the authors will present two analyses. First, evidence indicates that the inclusionary zoning program that flowed from Measure JJJ (called Transit Oriented Communities, or TOC) resulted in almost as many building permits over its shorter life than the longer-lived density bonus program. Second, detailed financial analyses of a hypothetical new residential development across a range of neighborhoods in Los Angeles demonstrate that the combination of density increases and affordability requirements in the TOC program is financially more attractive than exclusively market-rate development in many of the same neighborhoods that saw the largest use of the TOC program. The authors conclude that the TOC program can be a successful method of inclusionary zoning, and they draw policy lessons that can apply elsewhere.

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