2023 Federal Priority

Zoning Reform

Getty image for zoning reform/housing priority page banner. PC Getty/CatLane

Planning-led zoning reform is key to tackling many of the nation's greatest challenges - especially the housing supply crisis. With the right federal support, zoning reform can increase housing choice, lower housing costs, bolster local economies, address inequities in our communities, and connect people to opportunity.

While planners are leading local changes to zoning and working at the state level to enable reform, the federal government has a pivotal role to play in promoting reform by providing essential data, advancing legislation that removes barriers to more inclusive zoning, and strengthening the connection between zoning, housing, and infrastructure investments.

We call on Congress and the Biden Administration to support planning-led zoning reform to address challenges of housing affordability, availability, and accessibility.

Opportunities for Federal Action

  • Reintroduce and pass the bipartisan Housing Supply and Affordability Act
  • Secure guidance to implement the new YIMBY competitive grant program
  • Get to a final Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule that unlocks housing choice and incentivizes zoning reform

A National Partnership for Zoning Reform

APA is partnering with the National League of Cities to improve local capacity, identify critical solutions, and speed zoning reforms that enable communities to meet housing needs at the local level.

The Housing Supply Accelerator will bring together local governments, planners, builders, financial institutions, housing policy associations and state and federal partners to develop, align and advance solutions for housing supply challenges.


APA President Angela D. Brooks, FAICP talks the importance of zoning reform in addressing the housing crisis:

Planning and Zoning Reform

What Is Zoning Reform and Why Do We Need It?

What does 'zoning reform' actually mean? Learn about what reform looks like, why planners support it, and six zoning reform tactics that could help curb housing costs.

Zoning Reform Creates New Model for Smart Growth

Read how planners in the rural city of Walla Walla, Washington, used zoning reform to streamline accessory dwelling unit (ADU) regulations, eliminate single-family-only zoning, and promote housing diversity.

Housing Reform Through State Legislation and Local Zoning

This issue of Zoning Practice explores influential zoning approaches to housing affordability challenges, highlighting examples of legislative efforts related to zoning and their impact in local communities.

Five Key ADU State Bills

This blog explores the states where legislators and governors are turning to accessory dwelling units to help solve their states' housing supply challenges.

Zoning Reform and Hitting Planning's Reset Button

Planners know zoning isn't "one-size-fits-all". Hear planner and author Nolan Gray and APA's Jason Jordan discuss the cities and states charting a new course for zoning reform — and offer advice for planners navigating the myriad interests impacting land use decisions.


Zoning Reform Advocacy in Action

Equity in Zoning Policy Guide

APA's Equity in Zoning Policy Guide was designed to help local and regional planners and decision makers dismantle barriers and create more diverse housing options in places where they are needed most.

Housing Policy Guide

APA's Housing Policy guide identifies policy solutions for planners and local, state, and federal elected officials that address dire housing challenges — including accessibility, affordability, and availability — plaguing rapid and slow growth communities nationwide.

APA Endorses Bipartisan YIMBY Act

APA joins a pro-housing coalition in support of a federal bill which encourages communities to eliminate discriminatory land use policies, making it easier for planners to close housing gaps and identify a plan for advancing zoning reforms.