Policymakers, advocates and average citizens trying to figure out the economics of inclusionary housing often find it confusing to wade through varying opinions from consultants, developers and other real estate experts. In order to provide a simple, user-friendly way for the non-experts to understand the economic feasibility issues involved in designing an effective inclusionary housing program, Cornerstone is pleased to introduce the beta version of our new Inclusionary Calculator. The Inclusionary Calculator is a simple on-line development pro forma which allows users to model a real or hypothetical housing development and then add affordable housing requirements in combination with different development incentives. Using this innovative new tool, users can get a sense of what might be economically reasonable for a given jurisdiction trying to set appropriate inclusionary housing requirements and offer developers meaningful incentives.*

Read more about the Calculator.

Watch the Calculator Training Video

Please watch the 6-minute Calculator Training Video. Near the end of the video, a button will pop up to direct you to the registration form.

Watch the Calculator Training Video

Go Directly to the Calculator

If you have already watched the Calculator Training Video, you can access the Calculator by clicking the button below.

Use the Calculator

 

Calculator Screenshots (click to enlarge)

* The Calculator is not a replacement for professional real estate analysis, nor will it necessarily address all of the questions about economic feasibility that might come up around a new or existing inclusionary housing policy. Rather, the tool aims to demystify real estate feasibility issues as they relate to inclusionary housing, and to equip non-experts with the information they need to effectively engage with public officials, real estate development industry representatives and others in nuanced inclusionary housing policy discussions.

The intention of the Calculator is to help users to understand the real trade-offs between inclusionary Housing requirements and real-estate financial feasibility, not to show that inclusionary would work  under any circumstances.  Although Cornerstone promotes Inclusionary Housing as a policy tool, we have worked to make sure that the tool is objective and accurate.  We do not intend it as a tool for advocates alone, but one that can be trusted by developers, policy makers, and advocates alike. We contracted with professional real estate economists to develop the tool and piloted it with experts in the field to ensure that back-end calculations and baseline assumptions of the Calculator are consistent with industry standards.  Sometimes the Calculator shows that inclusionary housing requirements could feasibly be accommodated within a project, sometimes it will show just the opposite.

The Calculator’s results are only as good as your inputs. If you, the user, enter incorrect information about land costs, rental rates, or more obscure variables like the local capitalization rate, then the Calculator’s results will not reflect local development conditions. The Calculator is particularly sensitive to the Cap Rate, Construction Cost, and Rental/ Sales price assumptions, so try to get those right. The importance and difficulty of getting your input assumptions right is one of the reasons that the Calculator cannot substitute for professional real-estate analysis by an experienced consultant. That
said, we believe that the Calculator will get a careful user in the ballpark of what affordable housing requirements might be possible.