Councilmembers Quiñones-Sánchez and Gauthier Look to Reform Affordable Housing Requirements
New legislation proposed by Councilmembers Maria Quiñones-Sánchez and Jamie Gauthier is taking aim at how the city requires developers to support affordable housing. The current system gives developers the option to either build affordable housing units themselves directly into their developments or make payments to the City’s Housing Trust Fund (HTF) for use by the city. The proposed legislation aims to incentivize on-site construction and triples the required fees when contributing to the HTF. Later this year, the councilmembers intend to introduce additional legislation that would establish mandatory inclusionary zoning in certain areas of the city.
Councilmember Johnson Seeks Demolition Moratorium for ‘Doctors’ Row’
Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson introduced a bill seeking to block demolitions on Christian Street between Broad and 20th Streets for one year. Parts of this area were known as “Doctors’ Row”, an area where prominent Black Philadelphians lived during the early 20th century, including famed architect Julian Abele (who designed the Art Museum and Duke University campus) and Rev. Charles Tindley (who founded Tindley Temple and wrote “We Shall Overcome”). Some developers are also eyeing the area as a possible site for new construction.
City to Apply for $45 Million in HUD Community Development Block Grant
Council announced legislation to apply for $45 million in a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant as part of the city’s proposed Annual Action Plan, which aims to prevent homelessness, increase the amount of affordable housing, reduce blight, and create jobs.
Upcoming Hearing: Gun Violence, Poverty, and Racism
Council’s Committees on Finance and on Gun Violence Prevention will hold a hearing Thursday, June 3 at 9:30 a.m. on “the connection between poverty, gun violence, and systemic racism in Philadelphia.” This hearing is part of an ongoing series around gun violence in the city. The hearing will be live streamed on City Council’s website. More information can be found here.
Council to Consider a Number of Zoning Changes
City Council’s Committee on Rules will consider 16 proposals to zoning in areas around the city in a meeting on June 15 at 9:30 a.m. Click here to see a full list of proposed changes.
Budget Negotiations Between Mayor Kenney and City Council Continue
As we approach the end of budget season in City Hall, the Kenney administration and members of City Council continue to make the case for their priorities. The administration has continued to defend its proposed tax cuts, arguing that they will contribute to Philadelphia’s economic recovery and help our businesses compete with other cities. Meanwhile, the chair of City Council’s Appropriations Committee — Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez — has written an opinion piece detailing her priorities. Talks between City Council and the administration will intensify after the holiday weekend. City Council must pass the budget by June 24, which is the last meeting before the summer recess.