Inclusionary zoning policy development archive

The inclusionary zoning policy development archive from the City of Minneapolis.

Proposed permanent inclusionary zoning policy

The City Council directed staff to develop a permanent inclusionary zoning policy in 2019 that is consistent with the Inclusionary Housing Policy Framework adopted in 2018. In early 2019, the City conducted a request for proposals (RFP) and selected Grounded Solutions Network (GSN) to help develop a comprehensive inclusionary zoning policy and implementation program consistent with the adopted framework. GSN presented draft Inclusionary Zoning recommendations to the City’s Housing Policy & Development Committee on October 16, 2019. Information on the draft policy recommendations includes:

Timeline for the permanent inclusionary zoning ordinance and policy approval:

Current inclusionary zoning requirements

The City’s Unified Housing Policy  requires residential developments of 10 or more units that receive City financial assistance, pass-through funding from the City, or involve City-owned land to provide a percentage of housing units at affordable rents. Effective January 1, 2019, the City adopted an “Interim” inclusionary zoning ordinance and policy that applies to new residential rental developments that request:

  • re-zoning and/or
  • additional development capacity of more than 60% of what would otherwise be allowed

Residential rental projects subject to Interim inclusionary zoning requirements can choose one of the following affordability options:

  • Provide at least 10% of the units affordable to and occupied by households with an income at or below 60% AMI. The minimum affordability period is 20 years and these projects are not eligible for City financial assistance.
  • Provide at least 20% of the units affordable to and occupied by households with an income at or below 50% AMI. The minimum affordability period is 30 years and these projects are eligible to apply for City financial assistance. The Revenue Loss Offset  financial policy supports qualifying projects that choose this affordability option.

The Interim inclusionary zoning ordinance exempts ownership housing and housing developments primarily targeted to students.


On February 9, 2018, Council President Bender introduced subject matter to establish an inclusionary zoning ordinance. Inclusionary zoning intends to advance the goals of the City’s housing policies by requiring that affordable housing units are provided in new residential or mixed-use developments. Inclusionary Zoning policies adopted by Edina (2015), Golden Valley (2017), Brooklyn Park (2017) and St. Louis Park (updated 2018) have affordability requirements triggered by rezoning or other land use approval. Bloomington’s Inclusionary Zoning ordinance (“opportunity housing ordinance” 2019), applies affordability requirements to all development of 20 units or more, and Minnetonka’s policy (2019) applies affordability requirements to all developments of 10 or more units.

Since 2003, the City of Minneapolis has implemented housing policy that requires affordable housing units in residential and mixed-use projects with 10 or more units that receive financial assistance from the City. The policy was expanded to apply affordable housing requirements to projects receiving pass-through funding from the City (state or federal funds), and projects developed on property or a portion of property owned by the City.

In 2017, the City engaged a consultant, Grounded Solutions Network (GSN), to conduct financial feasibility analysis and policy research about national best practices to inform recommendations for inclusionary zoning policy options for the City. Their report included pros and cons of different policy choices, and case studies from inclusionary zoning policies in Washington DC, Chicago and Seattle. The report included research and data from a policy brief called Inclusionary Housing Prevalence, Impact and Practices. This policy brief noted that at the end of 2016, 886 jurisdictions had inclusionary housing programs in 25 states and the District of Columbia. An inter-department team of City staff from Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) Housing, Development Services, and Long-Range Planning divisions, City Attorney’s Office and the Finance and Property Services department supported this work. Grounded Solutions Network also received feedback from private developers and affordable housing advocates in this process.

GSN presented the report to the Housing Policy & Development Committee of the City Council on August 22, 2018. The report informed an inclusionary housing policy framework adopted by the City Council on December 7, 2018, along with the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The City Council directed staff to develop a comprehensive inclusionary housing policy consistent with this framework in 2019.

Also on December 7, 2018, the City Council approved amendments to the Unified Housing Policy and the Minneapolis Zoning Code to allow for an “Interim” inclusionary zoning ordinance and inclusionary housing policy, to be in place from January 1, 2019 until a new comprehensive policy takes effect. This interim ordinance only applies to development projects that need re-zoning and/or substantial additional development capacity of 60% or more. The ordinance language defines projects subject to the affordable housing requirements. The Unified Housing Policy defines the specific affordable housing requirements.

In 2019, the City approved an Interim Inclusionary Zoning Tax Increment Financing Policy for Revenue Loss Offset to support the inclusionary housing policy. This financial assistance policy supports qualifying projects subject to the City’s Interim Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance by ensuring the project remains financially feasible to develop.

Past meetings

Supporting materials and documentation

 For questions or additional information please contact Inclusionary Zoning.

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Inclusionary Zoning

Community Planning & Economic Development





Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Community Planning & Economic Development

Planning and Zoning


Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415


311 or 612- 673-3000