3 thoughts on “City’s Proposed Changes to Development Incentives Focus on Affordable Housing

  1. Looking at the real estate section and business sections of the EN my take is that the housing being built downtown or near downtown is not affordable to most people…condos starting at $350,000-450,000? Abatements given that amt to a huge subsidy for expensive condos. (Which, of course will be made up by taxpayers in one way or another.) Buildings that are boxes of concrete and metal that show none of the architecture that reflects this city. I don’t trust the council will make good decisions especially with developers. The ‘One Roof’ program is next to impossible for small local contractors to participate in as they don’t have lawyers on retainer to help with the lengthy and onerous application system. The management of the program has made the cost of the roofs not competitive and keeps more roofs from being built with available funds. There needs to be oversight that council is accountable to…not just non-profits set up by the city with council as members!

    The city should not be in the housing business. They are not accountable and their history with developers is what got us here to begin with! We had 2 HUD secretaries as mayors! And yet, here we are! There is much that needs to be cleaned up in downtown and the downtown area to make them places people want to live. The city needs to concentrate on a way to get an educated and skilled worforce that can afford housing and it’s maintenance; then they can focus on policy that is in their purview!

  2. We need to change the conversation from “Affordable Housing” to “Housing Diversity.” If we constantly advocate for affordable housing, then how do families with lower discretionary income invest in their neighborhoods? For the economics to work in a growing city, the model has to be sustainable. Until we close the gap on income diversity (and therefore the overall economics of housing) those families with a higher discretionary income (who want to live in theses areas too), and will shop in the stores and eat at the restaurants which is crucial IMO. Let’s not discriminate against any level of earning group.

  3. Just curious but what major city in the USA has an affordable downtown? This has always been an issue for downtowns with any life. It’s expensive to live there because of the amenities and walkability. Most people judge a city based upon its downtown and its important that we continue to invest here, build density in established areas for density. I also wonder why RR did not mention all of the jobs that have been created in our city for the working class? The incentives still touch the working class by creating jobs and spurring economic development. The problem with the incentives is that we call it the wrong thing there not there for housing affordability their there to create density in an area of town that would not have it if we didn’t. A vibrant busy downtown leads to economic growth, creates a cool factor, and will lead to further economic development in luring growth of outside companies to want to be here.

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