The Zoning Restrictiveness Index

The Zoning Restrictiveness Index (ZRI) is a standardized metric designed to measure the restrictiveness of zoning laws and regulations within cities and suburbs across the United States. Created by the Eviction Lab, the ZRI is a critical tool in understanding the impact of zoning policies on housing affordability, accessibility, and equity within various communities.

The ZRI assesses the level of restrictiveness in zoning ordinances, which govern land use and development, focusing on different factors that influence housing availability and affordability. These factors include the types of housing allowed, minimum lot sizes, restrictions on multi-family housing, and various other zoning regulations that can limit the supply of housing and affect the cost of living.

By providing a standardized scoring system, the ZRI allows for comparisons across different locations and jurisdictions, enabling policymakers, researchers, and the general public to comprehend the variations in zoning restrictiveness and their implications on housing dynamics. This index is a resource for informed decision-making and policy formulation aimed at improving housing accessibility and equity.

Accessing the Zoning Restrictiveness Index is made easy through the Eviction Lab website. The website offers a user-friendly interface where users can access comprehensive data, interactive maps, and detailed documentation about the index's methodology and scoring system.

The ZRI is the result of collaborative efforts by researchers and experts in the field of housing and urban development. The Eviction Lab, based at Princeton University, led the initiative to compile and analyze zoning regulations from various municipalities to create a standardized and easily accessible database for understanding zoning restrictiveness nationwide. This initiative represents a significant stride in promoting transparency, awareness, and informed discourse surrounding zoning policies and their impact on housing markets.

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