Alerts and Updates

Philadelphia's Mixed Income Housing Bill Amended, City Council to Vote in 2018

December 6, 2017

On December 5, the Rules Committee voted out of their committee Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez’s amended version of Bill 170678, the Mixed Income Housing Program. 

In a November 28 Alert, we discussed Philadelphia’s Mixed Income Housing Bill and recent changes to the proposed legislation. On December 5, the Rules Committee voted out of their committee Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez’s amended version of Bill 170678, the Mixed Income Housing Program. Under the proposed bill, as reported earlier, new residential developments in certain areas of Center City and University City that are 10 or more units in size will be required to include an affordable component within their project of 10 percent of the number of units constructed. The proposed bill, which was the subject of a five hour hearing on November 27, now moves to the full City Council for a vote.

Key Modifications of Original Bill

  1. Coverage. Only newly constructed units are included within the ambit of the bill.
  2. Excluded. Substantial renovations, student housing for educational institutions, dwelling units built within an existing structure and projects where more than 51 percent of the units meet affordability standards are not included within the ambit of the bill.
  3. Off-Site Construction Option. If the 10 percent affordable requirement applies, some of the affordable units may be provided and maintained offsite from the project upon a showing of “exceptional circumstances” and a “substantial public benefit.”
  4. Right of First Refusal. Owners are required to give the Department of Planning and Development a right of first refusal to purchase each affordable unit within 90 days of a sale.
  5. Payment in Lieu Option. Owners may make a payment in lieu of building the required units ranging from $11,250 to $25,000 per unit if within a Moderate Income Bonus area or from $14,900 to $30,400 per unit if in a Low Income Bonus Area. These funds will be placed in a Housing Trust Fund to support affordable housing.
  6. Fines. Owners can be fined up to $500 per day for noncompliance.
  7. Gross Floor Area (GFA) and Height Bonuses. A new table reflecting GFA and height bonuses in RM-4, RMX-3, CMX-3, CMX-3 within a transit oriented area, CMX-4 and CMX-5 has been inserted into the bill, replacing the original section. GFA ranges from 150 percent to 250 percent and height bonuses range from 48 to 60 feet, depending on the zoning classification and income type (i.e., moderate income or low income).

Next Step in the Process

The amended bill will be considered by City Council in 2018, likely during a January session once they reconvene after the holidays. Duane Morris will continue to keep you apprised of ongoing developments regarding this important topic.

For Further Information

If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, any of the Philadelphia attorneys in our Real Estate Practice Group or the attorney with whom you are regularly in contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.