The mayor's plan to require certain developers to set aside up to 30% of their projects for affordable housing goes easy on buildings in more affluent areas of the city, according to a report released Thursday.
Under the proposed mandatory inclusionary housing law, developers who are granted zoning changes that boost the value of their property—whether through a neighborhood-wide rezoning or through an individual application—would be required to create affordable housing in exchange. But a report by the nonprofit Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development argues that the city's own data show that in higher-income areas, developers could actually make 50% of their projects affordable, yet they won't be required to do so.
"Hot markets equal more affordability," said Moses Gates, director of planning and community development at the nonprofit, and author of the white paper. "In the strongest markets, the more you increase density, the more affordable housing you can have while making sure a development is still financially feasible."
The city said the scenario referenced by ANHD would be rare, but in general, agreed that developers in higher-value neighborhoods would have an easier time meeting the affordable housing requirements. In fact, a city official said the program was intentionally set up this way to avoid legal challenges, which have been brought against similar programs around the country with varying degrees of success.