Loading Episode...
Infinite Earth Radio – weekly conversations with leaders building smarter, more sustainable, and equitable communities - Michael Hancox EPISODE 59
Affordable Housing-Walking the Inclusionary-Zoning Tightrope
00:00:00 00:29:47

Affordable Housing-Walking the Inclusionary-Zoning Tightrope


Serving Lower-Income Families Through Inclusionary Housing


[01:13] Co-host Kate Meis is introduced.

[01:21] Sasha Hauswald is introduced.

[01:30] Sasha shares how she ended up working on affordable-housing issues.

[02:21] Sasha talks about some of the tools cities are using to ensure there is a supply of affordable housing so families can stay together.

[04:33] Sasha conveys her thoughts on challenges municipalities have with providing affordable housing.

[05:10] Sasha explains inclusionary housing/zoning.

[06:42] Sasha states if there’s an incentive to the developer to include inclusionary housing.

[08:33] Sasha elaborates if the impact of housing affordability is long term or short term.

[10:28] Sasha discusses how one has to think of inclusionary housing differently in stronger versus weaker up-and-coming markets.

[16:13] Is there anything else, beyond incentives to developers, that can incentivize more housing creation?

[20:04] Why should affordable housing matter for those who already have housing?

[22:47] Sasha comments on how policy decisions can favor or disfavor certain people.

[24:32] Sasha gives advice on how smaller communities can get involved in this conversation around affordable housing.

[26:11] Mike mentions the importance for people to understand zoning and how zoning impacts housing prices.

[27:20] Kate discusses the misalignment of the planning process with zoning codes.

[28:20] Sasha shares how people can learn more about her work.


Kate Meis joins the Infinite Earth Radio as the co-host for this episode. Kate Meis is the Executive Director of the Local Government Commission (LGC). Kate is a champion for local governments; a recognized leader in local climate change adaptation, mitigation and clean energy efforts; and an ardent coalition builder. She obtained a Masters of Science degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis, and has a Sociology Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sonoma.





Prior to serving as Director of State and Local Policy at Grounded Solutions Network, Sasha was Senior Program Officer at Cornerstone Partnership, where she led Cornerstone’s inclusionary housing engagements and activities. Before that, Sasha worked in at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development where she oversaw legislative affairs, strategic planning, and program evaluation projects as Public Policy manager.





Grounded Solutions Network is supporting strong communities from the ground up. We work nationally, connecting local experts with the networks, knowledge and support they need. Grounded Solutions Network helps promote housing solutions that will stay affordable for generations so communities can stabilize and strengthen their foundation, for good.


Take Away Quotes

“I started off working in foster care, and a lot of the kids who I was looking after in foster care were trying to be reunited with their families, but their parents were not able to find housing. So their parents are trapped in shelters, and the kids are trapped in foster care, and I just realized that it was sort of an underlying issue that was keeping families apart.”

“[Kate] read a study that said that there isn’t a county anywhere in the nation that can fill all of its low-income-population need for affordable housing.”

“Now, places are finding that they have affordability challenges even for moderate-income workers, and it’s just become a problem that affects “normal people” in “normal places,” so it’s not just the super-hot markets or the extremely low income anymore.”

“There are, I’d say, ecological benefits, economic benefits, and social benefits. The ecological benefits are that if people have to drive really far from some very far out suburb into their job in the city, then, it’s polluting the air for all of us, and that’s something that isn’t just impacting that family that has to drive. If you’re empathetic, you might feel bad that they have to drive for two hours to get to their job, but, regardless… The economic benefit is that there are businesses that need employees of all wage levels everywhere, especially in job centers…so businesses need affordable housing in order to be able to survive because they need to be able to pay their workers a level that the business can actually feasibly make happen, given what their revenue stream looks like. The third reason, the social benefit, is that we know concentrated poverty leads to bad outcomes for kids, and if you have all of the kids who are of the lowest income all living together in a far out place, then we know that those kids are going to grow up to have poor academic achievement, poor economic outcomes, and poor health outcomes, which is bad, again, for our infrastructure, our hospitals, and our economy.”



Grounded Solutions

Policy Link’s Equity Tools

National Low Income Housing Coalition

2017 New Partners for Smart Growth conference

Local Government Commission


Thanks so much for joining us. Have some feedback or an idea you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave an honest review for Infinite Earth Radio on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are super helpful and greatly appreciated as it helps us expose this show to a wider audience – plus, we read each and every one of them!