Sanchez Inclusionary Zoning Bill Only Would've Produced 163 Units Last Year

(205 Race is one of just two buildings to take advantage of current affordable housing bonuses. Photo: Jon Geeting) City Council will be debating a mandatory inclusionary zoning bill this fall that will require home builders to rent or sell 1 out of every 10 units in buildings with more than 10 units for lower-income people making between 30 and 50% of Area Median Income.  Continue reading

Kensington Micro-apartment Proposal Shows How Darrell Clarke's Parking Minimums Bill Would Hurt Housing Affordability

Lots of people like to complain about the price of new construction apartments, and say they want to see developers producing less costly housing. Developer Allan Nadav agrees, and he is proposing a new 49-unit building at 1613-27 Germantown Avenue in Olde Kensington whose 440-square foot studio apartments would rent for just $750 a month. Continue reading

Darrell Clarke: I Know Better Than Experts Because I've Been Around Longer

(Thinking about driving to the corner store to pick up 'The High Cost of Free Parking') Council President Darrell Clarke is a guy who drives to the corner store for his every need, and he's apparently dead serious about passing a bill that would force his preferred lifestyle on more neighborhoods, while meaningfully increasing the cost of new and refurbished housing.  Continue reading

Analysis: City-Owned Parking Lots Are Worth More Than the City Thinks

(The City is forgoing $3,208,000 to subsidize parking on E. Passyunk Avenue) Philadelphia owns more vacant property than any of our peer cities, and in recent times, politicians have been trying to inventory what we have, and offload some of it.  Continue reading

Five Answers About Rebuild (Spoiler: Council Wins)

Back in early March, we outlined the five most important questions about Rebuild. Council passed an amended version of the bill in the last meeting of the session on June 22nd, so let’s see how things panned out. Continue reading

Sánchez Proposes Inclusionary Zoning-for-Upzoning Bill. Can Philly's Housing Market Handle That?

(Multifamily buildings would have to set aside 10% of units for people making 50% of Area Median Income) Before breaking for summer vacation, Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez introduced a last-minute bill that, if enacted, would create an inclusionary housing requirement for new buildings of 10 units or larger. Continue reading

Philly Needs Inexpensive Housing in Addition to "Affordable Housing"

(Home First Development in Portland creates inexpensive housing) Philadelphia has an above-average supply of low-cost housing, but we also have a very high population of people who earn so little money that they can't afford even the most inexpensive housing. Continue reading

Darrell Clarke Bill Wants You to Pay for Other People's Parking

Council President Darrell Clarke is a guy who brags about driving to the corner store, so it's no surprise that his vision for the 5th Council District looks a lot more like the suburban sprawl of Phoenix or Atlanta than the rowhouse neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Continue reading

To Fix Philly's Business Climate, Start With Mysterious Business Process

You can't go a day on social media in 2017 without seeing a story or listicle about how Philadelphia is on the upswing. And compared to our own recent history, this is true. There's a lot of good stuff happening, and some amount of self-back patting is appropriate. But as a corrective, everyone should also read Christy Speer Lejune's piece at Philly Mag pouring a big glass of ice water on all the happy talk about Philly's economy.  Continue reading

Lame Excuses from Council Supporters of Wolf's 'Tech Tax'

(Councilman Bill Greenlee | Photo credit: Emma Lee / WHYY) Last Thursday, Council barely passed a resolution calling on Gov. Wolf to drop plans to reinstate the “tech tax” as part of the state’s upcoming budget process. Typically, resolutions are passed without any push-back. But this only slid through at 9-7, despite testimony from local tech leaders describing how the tax would harm Philly's technology economy. Continue reading