Incentive Policy for Affordable Housing (IPAH)
About the Incentive Policy for Affordable Housing (IPAH)
The Incentive Policy for Affordable Housing (IPAH) was adopted by the City Council in 2009 and encourages the creation of affordable housing units with two types of incentives. The IPAH document allows for the payment or reduction of fees relating to the development process. Additionally there are regulatory incentives located in the Flagstaff Zoning Code.
Several properties in town have participated in the incentive policy and offer affordable units for incomes up to 80% AMI. Information about those properties can be found on the Affordable Renting page under the Additional Affordable Housing tab.
In the years since its adoption, City staff and other users of these documents have identified discrepancies between the IPAH, incentives in the Zoning Code, and current departmental practices that impact the effectiveness of the policy. In late 2020 staff began work to revise and update the IPAH. Over a year of research and stakeholder outreach was conducted. This outreach effort coincided with the development of the 10-Year Housing Plan, and many valuable insights were gained from both processes. Ultimately, recommendations from both projects included Zoning Code modifications to allow for more housing variety, a streamlined entitlement process, and a comprehensive analysis of the City's development codes. Out of that work, a more functional set of affordable housing incentives will be developed.
Currently, City staff are in the process of procuring a consultant(s) to lead the code analysis project. It is anticipated work will begin on this multi-pronged project in early 2023.
- Revise the IPAH to better align with current city practices and policies, and community values
- Simplify the Zoning Code’s affordable housing incentives
- Recalibrate the incentives so they are proportionate to the affordable housing contribution and in alignment with community values and goals
Scope of Work
- Review and update the current incentive policy to include new or alternative strategies
- Review and update Division 10-20.30 of the Zoning Code, to include new or alternative regulatory incentives
- Consider successful policies from peer communities
- Assess city programs and policies for leveraging opportunities that advance affordable housing
- Update administrative and process requirements for developments that utilize the affordable housing incentives
- Remove or revise existing provisions of the Zoning Code that diminish effectiveness of the incentives
Work Completed in 2021
A working group of commissioners from both the Housing and Planning & Zoning Commissions with development experience and familiarity with the Flagstaff Zoning Code met from April - October of 2021. Their role was to review the current policies and incentives and provide direction on revisions and new concepts.
Interviews with the residential development community and discussions with the working group and city staff were used to shape new affordable housing incentives and strategies.
Recommendations from the working group and the stakeholder outreach were detailed in project reports, to be referenced by a consultant when the new affordable housing incentive strategy is written.