PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCIL PASSES LANDMARK $100 MILLION AFFORDABLE HOUSING PACKAGE

In Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Featured, Image, Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez by PHL Council

Council Commits Unprecedented City Funds to Housing Trust Fund to Build and Preserve Healthy Homes

Philadelphia, Oct. 4, 2018 – City Council on Thursday approved a landmark affordable housing legislative package that includes an historic annual appropriation to the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund. This fiscal year, the City projects the Housing Trust Fund increase to exceed $21 million.

The legislative package includes an expansive Mixed Income Housing Bonus for developers who build or pay for affordable homes; a current-year and five-year plan to increase the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund; and a renewed focus on the preservation and production of affordable homes.

Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez (7th District), Councilmember Mark Squilla (1st District), and Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) led a robust collaboration among developers, affordable housing advocates, and community stakeholders to establish an affordable housing plan that leverages the strengths of public and private partners.

“Over the past two years, this legislation has ignited an important conversation about how Philadelphia’s public and private sectors can work together to grow a more equitable and inclusive city. I want to thank the industry leaders, community organizations, colleagues, and members of the public who helped us calibrate this legislation,” Councilmember Sánchez said. “Today’s inclusionary housing plan represents an unprecedented commitment of City funds to advance Council’s mission of ensuring every family has a safe and healthy place to live.”

Through the Mixed Income Housing Program, building permit applicants may seek additional height, density, or floor area either by recording a covenant to create and preserve at least 10 percent of new units at affordable rates, or by tendering industry-calibrated fees to the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund, for the production and preservation of affordable homes.

Through the transfer of unprecedented City dollars to the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund, City Council is primed to respond to the federal government’s disinvestment in affordable communities by expanding efforts to keep families in their homes through the preservation and production of affordable units, including new programs for down-payment and closing cost assistance.

Council President Clarke said: “I am grateful for Councilmember Sánchez’s leadership on the issues of equitable growth and affordable housing. She never backs down from a fight on behalf of the most vulnerable Philadelphians, and I commend her steadfast resolve as she worked to build consensus on this legislation over the past two years. As I’ve said before, our vision of a fair and equitable City demands that all players, including developers, put skin in the game. This inclusionary housing plan is a great step forward, with many more steps to go – and I have no doubt that with Councilmembers Sánchez and Squilla leading the charge, we will achieve our equitable housing goals.”

“Working class people deserve opportunities to own a home, and the incentives this legislation includes will provide financial assistance for first-time homebuyers as well as retired homeowners who need help with maintenance and repairs so as to live out their senior years comfortably in their homes,” Councilmember Squilla said. “The other programs created though this legislation will prevent housing displacement and make Philadelphia a destination city for those juggling student debt or who have faced discriminatory barriers to good credit from their past. I’m proud that City Council is doing more than responding to an affordable housing shortage; we are proactively planning for fair and equitable growth.”

Bill Nos. 170678-AAA, 180739, 180740, and 180744 are posted on the Philadelphia City Council Legislative Center.

 

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