Affordable Housing Coalition Proposes Fee on Developers

The "housing impact fee" would be an attempt to raise money for the Housing Trust Fund.

Affordable housing advocates are pushing for a bill that would fund affordable housing with an "impact fee" on new construction. | iStock photo

Affordable housing advocates are pushing for a bill that would fund affordable housing with an “impact fee” on new construction. | iStock photo

The real estate market in Philadelphia is obviously doing well right now. It seems like every week we’re writing about a new apartment high-rise that is being built. But while all the high-end living spaces are great, one downside to this robust market is the way it changes the neighborhoods that are being developed. Prices are skyrocketing and locals across the city are being pushed out in favor of people who can afford to live in and around the new developments.

Katie Colaneri at NewsWorks reports that the Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities has an idea to combat that: a “housing impact fee.”

The fee would require developers to pay between $1.10 and $4.80 per square foot of new houses and apartment developments to Philadelphia’s Housing Trust Fund, which is used to help develop affordable housing in the city. A report from the coalition found that the plan could raise between $3.4 million and $12.2 million for the Fund.

Per Newsworks:

Right now, the fund’s sole source of revenue comes from a portion of the mortgage and recording fees paid by new homebuyers or when transferring a home to an heir. Last year, the fund took in $11.7 million, which advocates and politicians agree is not enough to meet the need for affordable housing in Philadelphia. The goal of groups such as the coalition and the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations is to increase annual revenue to $25 million.”

According to Colaneri, City Council members and Mayor Kenney’s office have each said they would consider this proposal, among others, to build the Housing Trust Fund.

Here’s the full article from NewsWorks.