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Inclusionary Zoning to Fund Workforce Housing, But for Hotel Developments

A new law in Portland, Maine could be the first to charge an affordable housing fee from new hotel developments.
February 5, 2019, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Wangkun Jia

"The Portland City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to require hotel developers either to build low-income housing, or pay a fee to the city," report Randy Billings.

"Under the new rules, hotel developers will have to build one low-income rental unit for every 28 hotel units they produce," according to Billings. "If developers don’t want to build the units, they will have to pay a $3,806 per unit fee to the city’s housing trust fund, which is used to encourage the development of low-income housing."

The new law follows a city-commissioned study finding that "hotels rely on low-wage workers who can’t afford to live near their jobs."

The article cites Portland Planning and Urban Development Director Jeff Levine, who speculates that the city could be the first in the nation to charge an affordable housing fee of hotel developments. Portland in 2015 adopted an inclusionary zoning requirement for new housing developments larger than ten units.

For more insight and commentary on Portland's new affordable housing fee for hotel developments, see also an article by Jared Brey.

Full Story:
Published on Monday, February 4, 2019 in Portland Press Herald
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