Incentive Policy for Affordable Housing (IPAH)
About the Incentive Policy for Affordable Housing (IPAH)
The Incentive Policy for Affordable Housing (IPAH) was adopted by City Council in 2009 and encourages the creation of affordable housing units through various 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. 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. Therefore, the IPAH will undergo an update process beginning Spring 2021, with the goal of City Council adoption by Winter 2021/2022.
The IPAH Update project is co-managed by Jennifer Mikelson, Housing Analyst (928) 213-2744 and Dan Symer, Zoning Code Manager (928) 213-2644. For more information please refer to the Announcements & Public Participation Tab or contact the project managers.
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 Rentals page.
IPAH Update Objectives
- 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 Zoning Code’s affordable housing incentives to accurately align with the affordable housing unit contribution, policies, and community values and goals.
- Update the Zoning Code to implement the new IPAH policy.
Scope of Work
The following is a summary of the work that will be completed:
- A review and update of the IPAH, which may include the development of new or alternative incentive policies.
- A review and update of Division 10-20.30 of the Zoning Code, which may include the development of new or alternative Zoning Code affordable housing incentives.
- A review and update of the applicable Sections of Division 10-20.30 of the Zoning Code to simplify and modernize the provisions.
- Review successful policies from peer communities.
- Review city programs and policies for leveraging opportunities to advance affordable housing.
- A review and update of the application, staff review checklist, and process requirements for developments that utilize the affordable housing incentives.
- Recommend modifications to the Zoning Code to remove existing provisions that diminish the ability to implement the affordable housing incentives. (e.g. Sustainable Building Standards.)
The following is a summary of work that will not be included in this update:
- The identification of recurring funding source(s) to implement the IPAH and related Zoning Code incentives.
- The simultaneous update to other City Codes or policies that may limit a developer’s ability to provide affordable housing units.
- The Residential Sustainable Building Standards will not be revised.
- Lobbying for modifications to state and federal regulation.
Milestones for the Update Process
Working Group Creation
The working group will be made up of commissioners from both the Housing and Planning & Zoning Commissions who have development experience and familiarity with the Flagstaff Zoning Code. The role of the working group will be to review the current policies and incentives and provide direction on revisions and new concepts to be included in the update.
Interviews with the residential development community, surveys from the general public, and discussions with the working group and city staff will be used to shape new affordable housing incentives.
After a back and forth concept development process with members of the public, city staff, and the working group, a Preliminary Draft will be routed for internal city staff review. Staff comments will be incorporated into a Public Review Draft.
Public Review Draft
The Public Review Draft will be made available to the public, the working group, Commissions, and City Council for a 60 day public comment period. During this time, Project Managers will meet with the public, working group, Commissions, and City Council to receive comments. Upon completion of the comment period, a Final Draft will be provided for the public hearing process.
Final Draft –
Once the Final Draft is provided to the Commissions, they will be requested to provide recommendations to the City Council. Following the Commissions’ recommendations, the City Council will be requested to approve the Final Draft.
A Public Participation Plan (PDF) provides a comprehensive summary of the public participation opportunities and notification process that will be used to update the Incentive Policy for Affordable Housing (IPAH) and the affordable housing incentives within the Zoning Code.
Working Group Meeting Schedule
A series of working group meetings will occur according to the schedule below. The working group meetings are open to the public; please contact Jennifer Mikelson or Dan Symer for meeting information. Until further notice all meetings will be held via Microsoft Teams. Members of the public may call in to the meeting or join virtually via an emailed link.
Flagstaff Community Forum
Additional public outreach will include public surveys through the Flagstaff Community Forum (link). City staff will first seek public input on the current policies and incentives, which will be used to help shape new concepts with the working group. A later round of public input will involve public feedback on proposed changes.