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A Win for Housing Affordability: City Council Adopts Changes to Incentive Zoning

Monday, November 21, 2022
The Cambridge City Council adopted an amendment to the Incentive Zoning Ordinance on October 17, 2022, which will increase funds for the City’s Affordable Housing Trust. Under the new changes to the Incentive Zoning provisions of the City’s Zoning Ordinance, the affordable housing contribution rate will increase from $21.02 to $33.34 per square foot of gross floor area for new, large non-residential developments. Funds received under Incentive Zoning are used by the City’s Affordable Housing Trust to fund the creation and preservation of affordable housing.

Last amended in March 2020, Incentive Zoning requires a Housing Contribution to offset the need for affordable housing that large non-residential development creates. Incentive Zoning housing contributions have provided more than $20 million toward the development of affordable housing in the past 12 months.

This new amendment adds to the many tools Cambridge has put in place over the past few years to support affordable housing, including the 100% Affordable Housing Overlay, increases to the applicability of the Inclusionary Housing provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, and increases in City funding for affordable housing. In FY23, the City of Cambridge has allocated more than $38 million of City funds toward the creation and preservation of affordable housing. The Affordable Housing Trust has commitments of more than $100 million to affordable housing developments currently underway to preserve or create more than 500 affordable homes when completed.

Learn more at Cambridgema.gov/housing.
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