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ABSTRACT

Using propensity score matching and regression techniques, together with an original database of approximately 12,000 inclusionary zoning (IZ) units built in Montgomery County, Maryland and Suffolk County, New York, this article comparatively analyzes the effect of IZ programs on racial and income integration and neighborhood change at the census tract level between 1980 and 2000. In particular, the article explores the question of whether IZ programs encourage stable neighborhood integration over time. This analysis fills a gap in the current empirical literature on the effect of IZ programs on neighborhood change and integration, an original policy goal that has not been evaluated previously due to data limitations. The findings indicate that the effect of IZ units on neighborhood racial and income transition is dependent on the siting of IZ units, the initial characteristics of the neighborhoods in which they are built, and the institutional framework of the IZ program. In the aggregate, IZ units positively affect the level of both racial and income integration in neighborhoods where units are built, although stark differences emerge between the two study areas. The findings do reveal the potential for IZ programs to exacerbate existing concentrations of poverty and patterns of residential racial segregation.