Pictured is a rendering of Block 37 apartments, currently under construction. The developer paid a 6.9 million dollar fee rather than including 69 affordable housing units out of 690. With a policy change looming, city regulation may limit similar opt-out choices for developers.
In the midst of a massive building boom housing advocates are concerned that not enough affordable housing units are in the mix, making it difficult for many people to reach downtown neighborhoods and their plethora of opportunities.
Tightening the affordable housing law could hike the fees buildings pay to omit these units, or require developments that need significant zoning changes to allocate the units regardless.
Some developers are not opposed to amending the law, but know mandating these apartments or hiking fees will kill new projects by complicating financing structures. Simply put there will be higher costs and lower returns - making funding less viable, if not impossible.
Right now the law is either 10% affordable or $100,000 per unit into the city's affordable housing fund. This may be increased to $175,000 per unit.
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