June 14, 2016
It's disappointing that developer PMC Property Group may be allowed to wiggle out of its agreement to include some less expensive units in its new luxury high-rise apartment building on the Delaware waterfront. The complex on Columbus Boulevard near Callowhill Street is five stories higher than it would be thanks to a provision added to the city zoning code in 2012 to increase affordable housing in gentrifying neighborhoods. PMC agreed to set lower rental rates for 25 of 250 units to become eligible for the zoning exception.
June 9, 2016
ONE WATER STREET is a glitzy, new apartment house that was designed to be a model for public-private endeavors to create more housing for low- and moderate-income Philadelphians. In exchange for city allowing the building to exceed zoning rules on density, the developer, PMC Property Group, agreed to make 25 units available to people who could not afford the $1,750- to $5,500-a-month rent for an apartment. As a result, the building, which sits on the waterfront near the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, is five floors higher than normally allowed.
June 8, 2016 |
A panel of Appellate Division judges heard arguments Monday on whether New Jersey's municipalities must zone for the many thousands of affordable housing units that were not approved between 1999 and 2015. The court promised a quick decision. At issue is whether townships and cities that did not zone for their legally mandated share of low- and middle-income housing during this "gap period" must do so on top of their obligations through 2025. If the panel rules in favor of an affordable-housing advocacy group's position, it could double or triple the Mount Laurel -type housing obligations of some municipalities.
June 7, 2016 |
Just how much affordable housing New Jersey must provide for in the decade ahead may hang in the balance Monday when an appeals panel convenes in Mount Holly's historic Olde Courthouse. Three judges of the Appellate Division are to consider whether municipalities have a persisting obligation to zone for all the housing units that went unapproved between 1999 and 2015. During that period, the state failed to devise a formula for calculating those obligations under the New Jersey Supreme Court's Mount Laurel decisions.
June 4, 2016 |
One Water Street , the first project built under Philadelphia's Delaware waterfront master plan , isn't quite finished, but the luxury apartment house already towers over Columbus Boulevard. At 16 stories, it promises residents spectacular views of the river, from the Ben Franklin Bridge to the sailboats bobbing in the marina next to Morgan's Pier. One-bedroom apartments are listing for an impressive $1,875 a month. One Water owes its statuesque proportions and fabulous panorama to a new provision in Philadelphia's zoning code that was intended to boost the supply of affordable housing in fast-gentrifying neighborhoods.
May 25, 2016 |
The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division will hear arguments June 6 on whether municipalities have an obligation to zone for affordable-housing units that they did not allow between 1999 and 2015. A panel of judges is scheduled to convene that day at the Old Courthouse in Mount Holly, built in 1794 and modeled on Congress Hall in Philadelphia. A ruling could affect by tens of thousands the number of affordable-housing units the state's 565 municipalities must zone for in the decade ahead under the state Supreme Court's Mount Laurel rulings.
May 12, 2016 |
Has Philadelphia's famous "councilmanic prerogative" been used in Point Breeze to encourage construction of affordable housing, or to punish a political foe? That was the question a federal jury had to grapple with Tuesday in the first day of trial for a lawsuit developer Ori Feibush filed against City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. Feibush, who lost the 2015 Democratic primary election for the Second District to Johnson, said his projects had been repeatedly stymied and opposed by Johnson and his staff.
April 18, 2016 |
In the early 2000s, as every Class B and C apartment and office building was being converted to condos, suggestions that some people might prefer renting brought complaints from Realtors and home builders. That was the "Buy Now, Maybe Pay Later" housing boom, during which the multifamily rental industry began calling its inventory "apartment homes" as a way of competing. So one morning in early September 2007, we awoke to find that we were overstocked with houses and condos that no one could afford and not enough apartments to accommodate the corresponding increase in renters.
April 17, 2016 |
If you're a low-income family looking to buy a home, the experts advising hundreds of New Jersey townships on their affordable housing obligations have a nice place in mind: a four-bedroom house on Long Beach Island for $700,000. Don't care for the beach? How about a five-bedroom house in Toms River with a pool and hot tub? It last sold for $500,000, but it qualifies as "affordable housing" to Econsult Solutions. These are just two of 400 homes with price tags of $500,000 or more that Econsult has identified as "affordable," according to data provided by the Fair Share Housing Center advocacy group.
April 9, 2016 |
The planning consultant for hundreds of New Jersey municipalities has more than doubled to 72,000 its estimate of how many affordable-housing units towns might have to zone for statewide over the next decade. The 37,000 additional units are the firm's estimate of need if the state courts should rule that municipalities had a legal obligation to make room for low- and middle-income households between 1999 and 2015. In December, the Philadelphia firm, Econsult Solutions, had estimated the statewide obligation at slightly more than 35,000 units.