In Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Kenyatta Johnson, Mark Squilla, News by admin

Cutting Red Tape Will Speed Production of Affordable Housing Construction

Philadelphia, May 24, 2018 Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) on Thursday put forth a package of three bills to reform construction regulations to encourage responsible development and reduce costs associated with housing.

The construction regulatory reform legislation was crafted in collaboration with the Building Industry Association (BIA) and major project developers, with the goal of boosting responsible and affordable housing construction to ensure equitable growth in the City of Philadelphia.

“As we continue to press members of the housing and construction industry to work as partners with City Council on a fair and equitable development strategy, it is only right that we do all we can to address unfair or unnecessary obstacles to growth and progress,” Council President Clarke said. “I want to thank the Building Industry Association and our partners in this effort for helping us to identify outdated and onerous regulations in the Philadelphia Code that impede economic growth and development.”

BIA President Jim Maransky added: “The Building Industry Association wants to thank Council President Clarke for his commitment to working with the real estate community to help encourage responsible development throughout Philadelphia. This package of bills will help alleviate government bureaucratic hurdles that have at times made building in the city difficult, while still ensuring that safety and neighbor concerns are addressed. We look forward to working with the Council President and his colleagues to see these bills to their adoption, and to continuing to work together to help improve this great City.”

The construction regulation reforms package include the following:

  • An ordinance introduced by Streets and Services Committee Chair Councilman Mark Squilla (1st District)  on Council President Clarke’s behalf that clarifies language in the Code to eliminate conflict between PECO sidewalk vault dimensions and dimensions allowable by the Philadelphia Streets Department
  • An ordinance introduced by Streets and Services Committee Chair Squilla on Council President Clarke’s behalf that would require developers to repave certain portions of roads and sidewalks following completion of certain private development projects
  • An ordinance introduced by Transportation and Public Utilities Committee Chair Councilman Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) on Council President Clarke’s behalf that would allow private water and sewer infrastructure for certain residential developments, such as condominiums, that would be maintained at no cost to the City.

Council is currently deliberating the authorization of a construction impact tax – introduced by Council President Clarke, Councilmember Squilla, and Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez (7th District) — to raise approximately $25 million annually for affordable housing. The tax has the support of the BIA and community development leaders.

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