Linking Housing Development with Economic Development

There’s the old adage: “You always get less of what you tax.” That’s why an affordable housing tax on developers is such a bad idea.

In reality, the creation of workforce housing should be linked to job creation. It should be treated just like any other public improvement.

For example, a large manufacturer comes to town and the city determines what new infrastructure will be needed to support the new facility. The city issues bonds to extend water, sewer, gas, and electricity and contracts the construction of these new utilities.

While they’re at it, why not evaluate the manufacturer’s housing need and issue bonds for it, too? This, along with fast-tracking the zoning approvals for a sufficient number of workforce housing units, would be a good aporoach.

Cities have all of these tools at their disposal. Proactively using them instead of doing the bidding of the short-sighted NIMBY crowd is the solution to our workforce housing problem.

From the piece:

“Starting in 2017, all new apartment buildings built in Portland with more than 20 units must dedicate a portion of their units to low and moderate-income housing. But some developers are choosing to pay a penalty instead of creating affordable housing.”

A link to the article is found here