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How Did Cities Boost Affordable Housing in 2017?

Affordability is elusive in many of America's cities, but some of them made concrete efforts to fight that trend in 2017.
January 18, 2018, 10am PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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The urban affordability crisis may seem intractable, but that didn't stop several cities from butting their heads against it last year. Here, Rachel Dovey goes through some of the more prominent efforts.

They include linkage fees (or impact fees), which saw traction in Denver and Los Angeles after some fits and starts. Inclusionary zoning is another option, and Dovey covers Detroit and Atlanta's work on that front.

More unconventional strategies include "buy-down" programs sponsored by corporations, "in which the city would purchase empty high-end apartments and then subsidize their rents for lower-income families with the help of corporate funding." In Denver, Chipotle is the first "employer partner" to try its hand at this. Atlanta has announced its intention to try similar partnerships.

In both the U.S. and Canada, some cities are emphasizing so-called "gentle density" as a means to circumvent neighborhood opposition to bigger projects. And by banding together, 14 Boston-area cities and municipalities want to coordinate more residential construction throughout the region.

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Published on Friday, December 29, 2017 in Next City
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