Next Stop Revere: Inclusionary Zoning

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As part of the ongoing implementation of Next Stop Revere, the City’s 2020 master plan, Mayor Arrigo is launching a process to develop zoning that will build upon Revere’s supply of Affordable Housing. A new inclusionary zoning (IZ) ordinance would require new residential developments of a certain scale to provide affordable units to qualified, lower-income residents. This powerful local tool is one of several new initiatives to implement the master plan and ensure Revere remains the diverse and vibrant community it is today.

How To Support Affordable Housing in Revere

Community Engagement Advocacy Tools 

Why Inclusionary Zoning

  • Inclusionary zoning is a strategy that gives the city the ability to produce Affordable Housing through types of private development that are already happening in Revere.  
  • Revere doesn’t have enough Affordable Housing to meet its residents’ needs. For every seven households that qualify as low-income, there is less than one deed-restricted Affordable Housing unit. 
  • Nearly half (48%) of all Revere households are cost-burdened, meaning they pay more for their housing than they can afford. (A household paying more than 30% of its income on housing is considered cost-burdened).  
  • Inclusionary zoning is very common across Massachusetts—adopted by more than 140 cities and towns—and Revere shouldn’t miss this opportunity. For a moderate cost to the city or town, it creates a much-needed, privately-funded community benefit in the form of Affordable Housing. 
  • Inclusionary Zoning by itself can’t solve a larger Affordable Housing Problem. But it is a key tool in the city’s broadening toolbox of policy options to help make Revere a more sustainable and affordable place for families to live and raise a family. 

The Revere Inclusionary Zoning Process

In September, 2021 Mayor Arrigo announced the appointment of an Inclusionary Zoning Advisory Council (IZAC), to work with city staff and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) on putting together the details of an ordinance that would fit Revere’s housing needs. On May 17, 2022, the IZAC and Mayor announced the proposed ordinance that was put before the City Council. 

In the intervening 8 months, the IZAC worked through the policy nuances to ensure that a wide array of voices were heard, and the conditions unique to Revere would inform the ordinance. They engaged with the community in two separate forums: One in October which included a public survey, to get a sense of community priorities; and a second forum in March to lay out more details of the research and get feedback on the choices that were available.  

That feedback was important in setting specific policy goals of reaching a little deeper affordability (60% AMI, even as many other communities have 80%), even if it meant small sacrifices on the total number of units.  

Meanwhile, MAPC was tackling the exhaustive technical process of crunching the numbers to provide the IZAC and the Mayor policy options. They met with stakeholders and developers to ensure that the result of this process was an ordinance that did not inadvertently undermine the very goal it set out to reach: Creating Affordable Housing while not stifling development. MAPC has spent years building and testing a financial model — a development pro forma — to take in a wide range of inputs that could impact development. MAPC’s work with private developers has provided MAPC the insight that developers are far less likely to move forward with work if the expected Internal Rate of Return (IRR) falls below 15%. This insight allowed MAPC to put forward the current ordinance proposal, entirely based on data specific to Revere. 

To learn more about the process, the details of Inclusionary Zoning, and visit our prior Inclusionary Zoning site: Revere Inclusionary Zoning Context.

Key Housing Terms

Frequently Asked Questions

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Contact Information
Tech Leng
Director, Department of Planning and Community Development

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