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This is the website for the City of Boston’s new Planning Department, which launched on July 1. The staff and many responsibilities of the Boston Planning & Development Agency have moved to the Planning Department of the City of Boston including planning & zoning, urban design, development review, and real estate divisions. Please excuse any misalignment you may see on our site as we transition to the City. Learn more

Inclusionary Development Policy

BPDA Board Approves Inclusionary Zoning Amendment

On July 13, 2023, the BPDA Board of Directors approved a text amendment to the zoning code that would incorporate the City’s Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) within zoning for the first time in the City’s history. Learn more about the new Inclusionary Zoning amendment.


The Inclusionary Development Policy (the “IDP”), first created in 2000, requires that market-rate housing developments with ten or more units and in need of zoning relief support the creation of income-restricted housing through:

  • Inclusion of income-restricted units within their building (typically 13% of a development’s units);
  • Creation of income-restricted units at a location near their building; and or
  • Contributing to the Inclusionary Development Policy Fund. These funds are used by the City of Boston Mayors’ Office of Housing (“MOH”) to fund the creation of affordable/income-restricted housing across Boston.

The 2022/2023 Update

The IDP was last updated in December 2015. Over 2022, MOH has worked with a consultant, RKG Associates, to better understand the feasibility of increasing the requirements of the IDP. At the same time, the MOH also released the Boston Housing Conditions and Market Trends report to better understand the affordable housing needs of Boston’s residents.

Mayor Wu announced proposed changes to the IDP policy on December 15, 2022. The Mayor’s proposed changes to IDP include: Lowering the threshold from 10 to seven units, and, for rental projects, increasing the proportion of the project that is income-restricted from 13% to 20% of the project, while also deepening affordability requirements. In an innovative approach, 17% of the project will be income-restricted at an average of 60% of Area Median Income, and an additional 3% of the project will be offered at market rents and reserved for people with housing vouchers. Federal Housing Vouchers usually pay a landlord Fair Market Rents at 100% of Area Median Income. As a result of the updated policy, voucher holders will have more options, as voucher holders generally have incomes less than 30% of Area Median Income Additionally, with Boston’s Small Area Fair Market Rents, landlords who rent to eligible households may be able to get higher Fair Market Rents depending on their zip code. Combined, the resulting affordability will be 55.5% of Area Median Income.

For homeownership projects, on-site IDP requirements will be increased from 13% to 20% in IDP Zone A & B (the top third and middle third of citywide neighborhood median values), while holding affordable requirements at an average of 90% of Area Median Income. The Mayor is using new authority to incorporate the IDP into zoning, therefore assuring that all developments with seven or more units help to meet Boston’s affordable housing needs. The effective date for the new rules will be determined based on the BPDA Board, Zoning Commission, and City Council approval process, but it will not affect any projects currently under review.

A zoning amendment has been drafted to implement these changes. The amendment involves the addition of a new Article 79 (Inclusionary Zoning) to the Boston Zoning Code, as well the addition of new definitions to Article 2 (Definitions).


Translated Materials

Public Meetings on Inclusionary Development Policy Zoning Amendment

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 | 6:00 PM–8:00 PM

Meeting Recording | Meeting Q&A

Saturday, January 21, 2023 | 1:00 PM–3:00 PM

Meeting Recording | Meeting Q&A

Thursday, January 26, 2023 | 6:00 PM–8:00 PM

Meeting Recording | Meeting Q&A