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Mixed-Income Neighborhood Overlay for our 3rd City District

Mixed-Income Neighborhood Overlay in our 3rd District

On July 18th, the Mixed-Income Neighborhood (MIN) Overlay District legislation went into effect. The plan for the overlay was to ensure that the 3rd (ours) and 7th District residents aren’t priced-out of their amenity-rich neighborhoods. Not everyone agrees with all of the provisions of the overlay. Here’s a breakdown of the law:

  • Most new Residential Housing Projects of 10+ units within the MIN Overlay District must provide 20% of their units to households earning up to 40% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for rental units and up to 60% of the AMI for owner-occupied units.

  • Affordable rental units must be affordable for 50 years and be spread throughout the development. The units must also be similar in size, design, and energy efficiency to the market rate units. Also, rent is capped at 30% of the household’s income (including utilities).

  • If units are rented to households with a Section 8 or similar tenant voucher, the property owner can collect higher rent than otherwise allowed.

  • These restricted housing costs are at least 50% below what we’re seeing in rents for new construction in West and Southwest Philadelphia.

  • Meanwhile, owner-occupied units cannot be sold for a price where monthly payments exceed more than 30% of a household’s income. Also, if a unit is ever resold, it must go to another household in the same income range – meaning it will *always* be affordable.

  • With permission from the City, developers can provide 15% of their units as on-site affordable units and either make a payment into the Housing Trust Fund or provide the additional 5% of affordable units within a half mile of the project.

  • Inside the Overlay, developers are entitled to additional development rights, such as added building height or reduced parking. Also, developers may voluntarily build more affordable units and win further entitlements through the Mixed Income Housing Bonus.

  • Lastly, before the City issues a zoning permit, developers must submit an Economic Opportunity Plan that outlines a strategy to employ a diverse workforce and minority-owned contractors.

This policy is supposed to empower 3rd and 7th District residents to stay in the communities they have called home for generations, while capitalizing on the booming development in our amenity-rich neighborhoods. Not everyone agrees. If you want to learn more about the mixed-income housing sections of the Zoning Code, click here.


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