Proposed Density Bonus Program Evolves in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is sweetening the deal in a proposal that would offer developers density bonuses if they send money to the city's Housing Trust Fund.
October 3, 2018, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Natalia Bratslavsky

Developers told the Philadelphia City Council that a proposed density bonus law wouldn't be enough of an incentive to generate funding for affordable housing, so the City Council made revisions to the proposal.

"After a negative response from developers, Philadelphia City Council has amended the terms of a density bonus intended to raise funds for affordable housing," reports Jake Blumgart.

"The bill amended on Thursday would give developers additional height, density, and floor area in exchange for payments to the Housing Trust Fund," adds Blumgart. In essence, the density bonus is now cheaper, and thus easier, for developers to use.

The administration of Mayor Jim Kenney estimates the new density bonus would generate $18 million for the Housing Trust Fund over the next five years.

In addition to the changes already made by the city to the proposed law, the Building Industry Association (BIA) is pushing for additional changes that would "allow developers to trade a contribution to the Trust Fund for a reduction in the number of mandatory parking spaces required in high-density areas," reports Blumgart.

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Published on Friday, September 28, 2018 in PlanPhilly
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