Form-Based Codes Institute at Smart Growth America

Obama Administration’s Housing Development “Toolkit”


The toolkit promotes urban zoning reform to increase and diversify housing availability

The toolkit, which the White House released in late September, calls for the development of “high-density and multifamily zoning,” “streamlining or shortening permitting processes and timelines,” and allowing “by-right development,” all of which are in line with elements t of form-based codes.   The toolkit highlights steps states and localities have taken to promote healthy, responsive, affordable and high-opportunity housing markets.

“The toolkit points out that  one primary barrier to developing housing for a range of incomes and market segments is traditional zoning, which restricts what developers can build,” said Marta Goldsmith, FBCI’s executive director. “Solutions include form based codes, which allows for   a diversity of housing types and prices closer to job centers. “

The toolkit calls for “smart housing regulation” that “optimizes transportation system use, reducing commute times and increases use of public transit, biking and walking” and reduces economic and racial segregation.  Ms. Goldsmith added, “FBCI is pleased to see the White House release this guidance, which is in keeping with the institute’s efforts to promote wider development and use of form-based codes.”