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Abstract

In the absence of any guidance from the legislature, local officials, in confronting the problem of affordable housing, look to the courts to define the extent of their responsibility and power. While not providing specific direction, the New York Court of Appeals has clearly outlawed zoning designed to exclude affordable housing. The judiciary has voiced doubts, however, that municipal governments can, through zoning alone, require the development of affordable housing. The view that municipalities lack such power is erroneous. Zoning alone is competent to induce such development. Furthermore, local governments have considerable additional power to induce the creation of such housing. This Article will document this competence and authority of municipal governments to induce the development of affordable housing.

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