Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, Miami, Florida

In 2018, Miami passed a mandatory inclusionary zoning (IZ) ordinance that requires the inclusion of affordable housing in the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) district, a 30-block area north of downtown Miami. Miami currently ranks lowest in the  availability of affordable rental units among cities in the nation. Meanwhile, low-income communities in the city’s inland neighborhoods that are historically black and Latinx now face development pressures from wealthier residents seeking to relocate from the city’s low-lying coastal neighborhoods to the city’s inland neighborhoods. Miami’s IZ ordinance, the first of its kind in Miami-Dade County, requires rental developments in the Omni CRA district to set aside a minimum of 7% affordable units or 14% workforce housing units. Similarly, condo developments are required to include at least 5% affordable units and 10% workforce units. In return, developers would be permitted to increase the square footage of their projects.

Miami-Dade County faces some of the highest rates of affordable housing shortages in the country.1 According to one study published in 2018, about 33.8% of renter households in the Miami metro area were severely cost-burdened (or spend upwards of 30-50 percent of their income on rent).2 Compounding the housing crisis, Miami faces growing threats from climate change, such as sea-level rise and hurricanes. In response, wealthier communities have been moving inland and upland to higher ground, gradually pricing out low-to-medium-income residents who have resided there for generations.3 To help address this problem, in 2018 Miami-Dade County passed the region’s first mandatory inclusionary zoning (IZ) ordinance, which requires developers to set aside a minimum percentage of affordable housing and workforce housing units in the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) district, a 30-block area north of downtown Miami.

The IZ ordinance applies to properties within the Omni CRA district with a T6-24B zoning designation. Specifically, the ordinance requires rental developments in the district to set aside a minimum of 7% affordable units or 14% workforce housing units (both designated for households earning 80% or lower Area Median Income (AMI)). Similarly, condo developments are required to include at least 5% affordable units and 10% workforce units.4 In return, developers would be permitted to increase the square footage of their projects.

Miami’s inclusionary zoning ordinance can serve as an example of how a city facing simultaneous climate and gentrification pressures can begin to use its regulatory power to amend its zoning ordinance and increase the availability of affordable housing for low to moderate-income individuals.

 

 

Publication Date: December 13, 2018

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