The Journey of Harbo 767

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City Council passes $71M housing bill

A package of housing bills passed City Council on Thursday after over a year of debate. But even before the ink dried on the legislation, protesters argued that they don’t do enough to address a growing affordability crisis.

The bills include a new inclusionary zoning bonus that would give developers a chance to construct larger buildings in exchange for payments to the Housing Trust Fund that officials project will total $18 million over the next five years.

The legislation also includes a transfer ordinance that would send $19 million of a promised $53 million from the city’s general fund for use on affordable housing. Then there’s a bill committing to the larger projection of $71 million over the next five years from these two sources. Lastly, there’s a bill that would ensure money secured from these two sources can be spent on housing for the working-to-middle class in addition to the city’s neediest.  

Mayor Jim Kenney is expected to sign both pieces of legislation quickly.

But the long and contentious fight over affordable housing continued to simmer despite this forward movement. A press release circulated by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez and City Council President Darrell Clarke headlined that $100 million is secured for affordable housing — $29  million more than committed to by the Kenney administration. A spokesman for the mayor declined to comment on the release.

This story will be updated.



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