The School offers the following publications relating to community and economic development. Please see the Community and Economic Development category of the School’s online shopping cart for more related titles, descriptions, prices, and ordering information.


Affordable Housing and North Carolina Local Governments
Anita R. Brown-Graham
Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Discusses the most important grants of affordable-housing authority the state has given to local governments and points out particular legal issues associated with ways local governments engage in housing activities. It also indicates the various ways that local governments are responding to the affordable-housing crisis growing in many parts of North Carolina. Each chapter presents a "case in point" which seeks to apply principles to a specific housing problem as addressed by the United States Supreme Court or by a programmatic measure. Appendices include definitions of terms used throughout the book, a list of common affordable housing funding sources, a list of federal laws that have significantly affected the development of local government housing activity, and the text of certain state statutes related to affordable housing.

Economic Development Handbook, Third Edition
Jonathan Q. Morgan
Monday, September 28, 2009

A new edition is forthcoming in fall 2016

Link to free, PDF version.

The North Carolina Economic Developers Association (NCEDA) partnered with the UNC School of Government to prepare this publication as a basic introduction to economic development. It is offered as an educational resource for legislators, policymakers, community leaders, and interested citizens across the state who desire to keep North Carolina competitive in its quest for new jobs and investment. Economic development is not always well understood, but this handbook provides essential information about how the process works; the participants involved; and the various strategies, tools, and programs available to those involved in economic development efforts.

This publication is available as a free PDF on the School's website and on the NCEDA site:

Economic Development Law for North Carolina Local Government
David M. Lawrence
Friday, May 26, 2000

A book about the law that frames and guides economic development programs undertaken by North Carolina local governments. Focuses on topics that have attracted legislative and judicial attention such as economic development incentives.

Chapters cover constitutional issues affecting economic development programs, statutory authority for such programs, statutory procedures governments must follow, financing economic development, possible organizational forms within local government, and incentives offered by the State of North Carolina to companies locating or expanding within the state.

Several recent publications written by faculty member Tyler Mulligan are essential companions to this book:


Housing Codes for Repair and Maintenance: Using the General Police Power and Minimum Housing Statutes to Prevent Dwelling Deterioration (Hard Copy Format)
C. Tyler Mulligan, Jennifer L. Ma
Monday, August 8, 2011

When a dwelling is permitted to deteriorate - either in its outward appearance or structurally - it can result in serious negative consequences for the surrounding community. This is particularly true in the case of vacant dwellings in various stages of foreclosure. When neighbors are unwilling or unable to convince an owner to make needed repairs, local government officials are sometimes asked to get involved. To that end, this publication explains local government authority in North Carolina to establish and enforce repair-oriented housing codes that require owners to keep dwellings in a state of good repair - before the dwellings become dilapidated. Detailed treatment of the general police power and minimum housing statutes is provided.

A PDF version of this publication is also available for purchase at this link.

Free download of a Community and Economic Development Bulletin on residential inspection and registration programs.

Inclusionary Zoning: A Guide to Ordinances and the Law
C. Tyler Mulligan, James (Jim) Joyce
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Inclusionary zoning ordinances encourage real estate developers to set aside a portion of new development for housing that is affordable to households in a certain income bracket. The variations among such ordinances are as numerous as the communities that have adopted them, because each one must be crafted with the particular needs of the community in mind. As a result, public officials, housing professionals, and concerned citizens face a dizzying array of options when developing an inclusionary zoning ordinance.

This guide explains the major policy decisions associated with inclusionary zoning and provides the legal context for those decisions. It also provides examples of ordinance language from inclusionary zoning programs around the country - including recently enacted programs from North Carolina - to illustrate specific choices. The aim is to help with the task of developing or modifying an inclusionary zoning ordinance by translating policy decisions into a working ordinance.

This book also contains guidance for public officials developing local affordable housing programs. For more information, please follow the links to the following blog posts, available for free on the School of Government blog, Community and Economic Development in North Carolina and Beyond:

Introduction to Local Government Finance, Second Edition
Kara A. Millonzi
Monday, August 18, 2014

A new edition is forthcoming in fall 2016

This multi-authored book provides an overview of the financial management laws and practices applicable to local governments and public authorities in North Carolina. The book is divided into three main sections.


  1. Financial Management Chapters within this section provide an overview of the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act and discuss budgeting; cash management and disbursements; and accounting, financial reporting and auditing requirements.
  • The Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act, by Kara A. Millonzi
  • Budgeting for Operating and Capital Expenditures, by Kara A. Millonzi and William C. Rivenbark
  • Managing and Disbursing Public Funds, by Gregory S. Allison and Kara A. Millonzi
  • Accounting, Financial Reporting, and the Annual Audit, by Gregory S. Allison
  • RevenuesThese chapters detail revenue sources available to fund both operating and capital expenses. This section includes a detailed discussion of the property tax administration and provides revenue forecasting tools for local officials.
    • Revenue Sources, by Kara A. Millonzi
    • Property Tax Policy and Administration, by Christopher B. McLaughlin
    • Financing Capital Projects, by Kara A. Millonzi
    • Revenue Forecasting, by Whitney B. Afonso
  • ExpendituresThe final section highlights some of the major expenditure areas for local governments, including general purchasing and contracting, public enterprises, public schools, and community and economic development.
    • Purchasing, Contracting, and Disposal of Property, by Norma R. Houston
    • Ethics and Conflicts of Interest, by Frayda S. Bluestein and Norma R. Houston
    • Financing Public Enterprises, by Kara A. Millonzi
    • Financing Public Schools, by Kara A. Millonzi
    • Financing and Public-Private Partnerships for Community Economic Development, by C. Tyler Mulligan

    This edition covers legislative changes through the 2013 session of the North Carolina General Assembly. It replaces the first edition published in fall 2013.

    Land Use Law in North Carolina, Second Edition
    David W. Owens
    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    This publication is no longer in print. To purchase the newest edition, please click here


    This book addresses various components of local government development regulation, including the types and legal authority for regulations that are used, roles and responsibilities of those involved, the scope of city and county jurisdiction, and a wealth of detailed legal analysis. The new edition incorporates legal developments since 2006.

    Topics include the following:

    • Ordinance amendments,
    • Spot, contract, and conditional zoning,
    • Quasi-judicial procedures,
    • Special use permits and variances,
    • Variances,
    • Vested rights,
    • Statutory and constitutional limits on regulatory authority, and
    • Judicial review of regulatory decisions.


    The Role of Local Government in Economic Development: Survey Findings from North Carolina
    Jonathan Q. Morgan
    Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Link to view-only PDF version. (You may view this file on your computer and save it for future viewing, but you will not be able to print it.)

    This report discusses the findings from a mail survey of local government economic development activities that was sent to all 540 municipalities and 100 counties in North Carolina. An important part of the analysis examines whether cities and counties differ significantly in their economic development efforts and whether smaller jurisdictions employ different types of development strategies and tools than larger ones. The survey findings also highlight the barriers that local governments face in promoting economic development and identify important technical assistance needs and gaps in local capacity.

    Public Officials - Local and State Government Roles