HIP Tool: Educating Permitting Officials

The development process and timeline for affordable or innovative housing projects can differ from typical market rate projects. The administrative process will be smoother and more supportive if permit and building department staff are included in policy development and proactively kept up-to-date on affordable housing finance and diverse housing options in the city. Staff should also understand the importance of project schedules associated with subsidized projects.


Building department staff are often the first point of contact for property owners interested in developing their land. Building officials and permit staff should be kept on board with the jurisdiction’s affordability and density goals, as well as any new regulations on innovative housing. It can make the processing and approval of development applications more efficient. Building officials and permit coordinators are a source to developers for the latest information on development code changes and additions. Officials working with developers and landowners can accurately advise on incentives and programs for affordable housing, or explain the variety of housing developments permitted on the property.

Keeping the permitting process organized and efficient is essential for keeping development projects on time and within budget. When affordable or innovative housing proposals are brought forward for permits, the review process can be smoothed so that project schedules are met per funding and financing requirements. Maintaining a schedule of upcoming deadlines and project milestones can help assure that projects keep moving through the review and permitting process on schedule.

Regulatory streamlining and priority permitting can also be used to create a supportive administrative environment for new innovative or affordable housing development.

Tool Profile

Focus Areas

  • Urban Centers
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Expensive Housing Markets
  • Innovative Single Family Techniques

Project Types

  • Single Family
  • Multifamily
  • Ownership
  • Rental
  • Subsidized

Affordability Level

  • Less than 80% AMI

Housing Goal

  • Affordability
  • Diversity