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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Fair Housing, the Zoning Process, and Land Use Politics in Rural Areas
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Many affordable housing developers encounter opposition from neighbors and elected officials when they propose a new project. Since obtaining project permits or seeking rezoning usually involves some form of public hearing, the permit and zoning procedures in most communities offer residents a forum for expressing their concerns about a proposal. A good permit process should evaluate how well development proposals meet local planning goals. This would include, for example, addressing concerns that new housing or commercial projects not overtax local services and infrastructure. However, these public forums also provide “Not in My Back Yard” (NIMBY) opponents an opportunity to delay or derail affordable housing proposals. This report uses examples from four cases to illustrate choices and strategies that may be employed at different points in a NIMBY conflict. In each case, local opponents to an affordable housing project used the permit or zoning process to challenge an affordable housing proposal. (Authors)
Washington, D.C.