Rules for Special Areas

Inclusionary Housing Program

The Inclusionary Housing Program (IHP) promotes economic integration in areas of the City undergoing substantial new residential development by offering an optional floor area bonus in exchange for the creation or preservation of affordable housing, on-site or off-site, principally for low-income households. IHP regulations are contained in Section 23-90. Maps of designated areas are in Appendix F of the Zoning Resolution.

The Inclusionary Housing Program requires a percentage of the dwelling units within a building to be set aside, or new or rehabilitated affordable units be provided off-site within the same community district or within one-half mile of the bonused development. All affordable residential units created through the Inclusionary Housing Program must remain permanently affordable. Affordable apartments may be rental units or, under modifications made to the program in 2009, available in an ownership plan.

In the Special Hudson Yards District, the Special West Chelsea District and in designated areas mapped on First Avenue between East 35th and East 41st Streets in Manhattan, and along the Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn, a percentage of units may be set aside for moderate- or middle-income households if a greater percentage of affordable units is provided. All bonus floor area must be accommodated within the height and setback provisions of the underlying zoning district.

Learn more about Inclusionary Housing, including Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development here.

R10 program

The original Inclusionary Housing Program was created in 1987 for high density R10 districts and commercial districts with R10 density, where it remains applicable today. New developments that provide affordable housing in eligible R10 districts receive a floor area bonus of up to 20 percent of the maximum permitted residential floor area, increasing the maximum floor area ratio (FAR)of 10.0 to 12.0.

For each square foot of floor area dedicated to affordable housing, the development can receive between 1.25 and 3.5 square feet of bonus floor area, depending on whether the affordable housing is provided on-site or off-site, through new construction, rehabilitation or preservation of existing affordable housing, and whether public funding is used for financing. Because this program is available only in zoning districts with R10 density, eligible developments have been concentrated in Manhattan.

Designated areas program

Building on the success of the R10 Program, the Inclusionary Housing designated areas Program was created in 2005 to encourage the creation and preservation of affordable housing throughout the City in designated areas mapped in medium- and high-density neighborhoods being rezoned to create new housing opportunities. Inclusionary Housing designated areas are mapped in specified areas of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens and are listed by borough and community district in Appendix F of the Zoning Resolution.

The base FAR for developments in Inclusionary Housing designated areas is, in most cases, lower than the base FAR allowed in the same zoning district located outside a designated area.

In general, within Inclusionary Housing designated areas, new developments, or enlargements constituting more than 50 percent of existing floor area, that allocate at least 20 percent of their residential floor area for affordable housing can receive a floor area bonus of 33 percent above the base floor area permitted. This floor area bonus, combined with a variety of housing subsidy programs provides an incentive for the development and preservation of affordable housing.

Designated areas are also mapped within some special districts, and their assigned FARs may differ from the table.

Example of Inclusionary Housing designated area Bonus in an R8A District
A portion of an R8A district mapped along 4th Avenue in South Park Slope in Brooklyn Community District 7 has been mapped as an Inclusionary Housing designated area.

  • The base FAR in most R8A districts is 6.02
  • The base FAR in an R8A district within an Inclusionary Housing designated area is 5.40
  • The maximum FAR for a development that provides affordable housing in an Inclusionary Housing designated area, including the bonus, is 7.20

Using the Inclusionary Housing designated areas Program, the floor area may be increased by 1.25 square feet for each square foot of affordable housing provided, up to the maximum FAR— a bonus of 33 percent for providing 20 percent of affordable housing.

Affordable Housing Production in Inclusionary Housing designated areas, 2005-2013: A summary of the Inclusionary Housing program’s performance to date with respect to its objective of creating and preserving affordable housing in conjunction with new development in recently rezoned areas