Council President Clarke Introduces District Overlay Requiring Affordable Housing in New Construction
On October 20, Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke introduced legislation that would institute mandatory inclusionary zoning in a portion of his district. The legislation would expand both requirements imposed upon real estate developers, as well as income eligibility thresholds for Philadelphia renters and homebuyers. Although The Fifth Councilmanic District includes parts of North Philadelphia, Fishtown, and Center City, the zoning overlay is targeted along the few blocks east and west of Broad Street from John F. Kennedy Boulevard to Roosevelt Boulevard.
The bill would require that all new residential construction projects with at least ten units in the targeted area offer 20% of the units at below-market rate sale prices or asking rents. The legislation also defines “affordable housing” as rental units that cost no more than 30% of the monthly income of a family whose income is 60% of the Area Median Income – for a family of two, that would be an annual income of $36,300 and a monthly rent (including utilities) of just over $900. For-sale units must be priced to be affordable by families who earn no more than 80% of the Area Median Income ($54,440 for a family of three).
A similar (though less extensive) bill was passed last year by Councilmembers Jamie Gauthier and Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, which targeted specific “rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods” within West, North, and Northeast Philadelphia. Council President Clarke cites development pressures as motivation to introduce this legislation. A committee hearing has not been scheduled.
For more information, please contact a member of the Philadelphia Public Strategies team.