Multifamily Zoning

Multifamily zoning refers to the use of land for multi-unit residential buildings, such as apartments, condominiums, and townhouses. In the context of zoning analysis in the United States, multifamily zoning is an important aspect to consider, as it can influence the availability and affordability of housing.

Zoning regulations can be a significant barrier to high-density, multifamily housing development. For instance, in six major metropolitan areas studied, only 2% of Connecticut's land is zoned to allow the by-right construction of multifamily housing, while 91% of its land allows only the construction of single-family housing by right. Suburbs and towns tend to have more restrictive zoning rules, while the largest cities more readily permit multifamily construction. (, 2023)

An analysis of zoning laws, property values, and residents' demographic and economic characteristics in Connecticut revealed that strict zoning regulations limiting construction to single-family housing can lead to higher household incomes and a more homogeneous population in terms of race and ethnicity.

There is a growing interest in zoning reforms that could increase the supply of housing, particularly multifamily housing. One approach is to increase the density allowances for multifamily housing parcels, which can be achieved through upzoning or other measures such as reducing parking minimums. These changes could help address the national housing shortage, which research has shown is connected to restrictive zoning. (, 2023)

The Opportunity Zone policy program in the United States aims to spur economic development in designated areas. An analysis of multifamily investments in Opportunity Zones revealed that the program has had a positive impact on multifamily properties, with 6.51% of all multifamily assets transacting in the time since the OZ legislation was passed. This suggests that the Opportunity Zone program has been successful in attracting investments to multifamily properties in designated areas.

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