Victory! City Council Passes Affordable Housing Bills

At its final session before summer recess, City Council approved a package of three bills PACDC advocated for that could generate more than $20 million per year for the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund, and create more mixed income communities.

Bill No. 180351 would create a 1% Construction Impact Tax, was approved by a narrow 9-8 vote.  Mayor Kenney has expressed opposition to the bill, and could veto it when Council returns in September.  Bill No. 180347 would create a new sub-fund of the Housing Trust Fund to receive and spend the funds, and it was approved by a veto-proof vote of 13-4.  There was unanimous support for Bill No. 170678, which creates a voluntary Mixed Income Housing program, where developers could earn zoning density bonuses if they provide affordable units on-site, or pay into the Housing Trust Fund.

The passage of these bills is the result of two PACDC campaigns, our Can’t Wait to Be Home campaign to double the revenue to the Housing Trust Fund, and our Affordable Homes for a Growing Philly campaign to leverage the city’s building boom for more affordable homes.  Read the letter PACDC sent to all members of City Council urging them to vote in favor of the bills, which were championed by Council President Darrell Clarke, Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, and Councilman Mark Squilla.

PACDC will be urging Mayor Kenney to sign the bills, and if the Construction Impact Tax is vetoed, will continue our campaign to push the Administration and Council to better fund Philadelphia’s affordable housing needs.

Check out the news coverage of the vote, including the editorial and story, and this story from PlanPhilly.   You can also read PACDC and our member’s testimony on the bills when they were heard in the Finance Committee.