The city just released the affordable housing task force’s draft recommendations, to be presented to City Council. We are very frustrated to only see these late in the day on Wednesday when they were supposed to be published on the 25th. We expect more transparency from the city to ensure that residents have time to respond. We also want to see the findings of their needs assessment.
It is worth noting some positive aspects of these recommendations:
- The task force names the importance of just cause eviction (a tenant can only be evicted if he/she violates the lease) and other tenant protections.
- The task force specifies a $10 million per year goal for the housing trust fund.
- The task force acknowledges that inclusionary housing must be available for rental households that make 50% of the annual median income.
However, there are still significant limitations within the recommendations:
- Research shows that incentive-based inclusionary housing programs are less effective than mandatory programs at producing affordable units. They tend to work only in cities where it is difficult to obtain zoning and development approval without an affordable housing commitment. Also, only 17% of all inclusionary housing programs nation-wide are incentive-based.
- It is also unclear how many units of affordable housing these recommendations would create. We currently face a deficit of 21,000 units.