Workforce Housing Ordinance Case Studies

Issues Addressed:
Affordable Housing Housing Costs Housing Options Multigenerational

Wakefield, NH

Wakefield responded to the Workforce Housing mandate by passing a so-called Workforce Housing Ordinance that explicitly invokes the Inclusionary Housing zoning tool authorized by the State. Under Wakefield’s ordinance, residential Workforce Housing developments are allowed by Conditional Use Permit in most of the land zoned for residential and agriculture uses. Single-family, duplex, and multifamily housing (up to eight units per structure) are allowed. Base density and dimensional requirements carry over from base districts, with density bonuses of 15% offered to developments with at least 30% of units qualifying as Workforce Housing.

Barrington, NH

Barrington passed a Workforce Housing ordinance in response to the mandate. Barrington’s law does not specifically invoke Inclusionary Housing, though it functions similarly. Workforce Housing developments are allowed in most residential areas by Conditional Use Permit, and developments keeping at least 20% of units affordable receive density bonuses and dimensional relief, at the discretion of the Planning Board.
A Barrington charrette in 2015 arrived at two options for mixed-use residential development: the village center and village green. (Images via Town of Barrington.)