Opinion: Letter to the Editor: We Need More Than 10% Affordable Housing

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: We Need More Than 10% Affordable Housing

Thank you, Councilman Seifeldein, for standing up for making developers do more to provide affordable housing. One suspects that city hall is affording developers extra density in exchange for a measly 10% being devoted to affordable housing merely as a cover for densification many of us don't want. Mayor Wilson tacitly admitted as much when he fretted about Beauregard developers opting for by-right development versus what he imagines are "ambitious" affordable housing developer contributions.

Quite the contrary, examples abound of where 10% is so little as to be arguably de minimis (e.g., https://www.usaid.gov/india/partner-resources/infographic-de-minimis-rate-indirect-costs https://fawiki.fws.gov/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=21268677). If city hall were serious about affordable housing as anything more than a guise for densification, it would insist that a much higher amount of additional density be devoted to affordable housing and would hold developers to stricter expectations.

If, instead of 10%, city hall insisted on 50% of additional density being devoted to affordable housing, so what if most developers pass and opt for by-right? If only one quarter of developers contribute at 50% of the extra density city hall is giving them, that's 12.5% more affordable housing, versus only 10% under what city council is currently considering.

Dino Drudi