New NAHB Land Use Policy Resources on Density, Zoning and Development Review

Land Development

Local land use policy has an impact on housing production and affordability, but the correlation is not always readily understood by those outside of the home building industry. NAHB’s Land Development Committee formed a working group to study and produce educational resources on land use policy. The result is three primers that effectively convey a pro-housing and development message in 60 seconds or less, which can be invaluable when working with people who are unfamiliar with the subject or don’t have time to dive into a larger report.

NAHB contracted with Opticos Design — the firm that coined the phrase ‘missing middle housing’ — to produce these resources. Opticos previously produced the NAHB’s Diversifying Housing Options with Smaller Lots and Smaller Homes.

The primers cover three priority land use policy topics related to housing production and affordability:

Each document defines the subject along with the present challenges, solutions and benefits to local communities.

Many cities have land-use codes or zoning that prevent any form of dense, smaller-unit housing, which may provide an affordable option relative to traditional single-family detached. Similarly, many cities’ development review or entitlement processes can be subjective, uncertain and extremely lengthy. There is no silver bullet to solve the housing affordability crisis, but undoing preventative policies and processes and focusing on pro-housing local solutions are great first steps.

For more information, check out NAHB’s updated Land Use 101 toolkit.

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