MAYOR RAS BARAKA WILL HOST A FACEBOOK LIVE CHAT ON INCLUSIONARY ZONING THURSDAY EVENING
Published August 30, 2017 | Brick City Live
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Mayor Ras Baraka will host a Facebook Live chat about inclusionary zoning and affordable housing on Thursday, August 31st at 7 p.m. The chat will be broadcast from the City of Newark’s Facebook page.
The city’s inclusionary zoning proposal would require developers of new and “substantially renovated” residential (including mixed-use residential) projects in Newark to set aside 20 percent of units for low- and middle income residents if those developments meet two criteria: they include 30 or more units, and they’re granted a zoning variance or tax abatement by the city.
Of that 20 percent, according to the latest version of the ordinance, half of the units will be set aside for those making 80 percent of the area’s median income, and the other half will be split between people those 40 percent and 60 percent of the area’s median income.
(The proposal would also give developers the option to pay into Newark’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund instead of making the residential set-asides with approval of the city’s zoning board, but the proposed law heavily favors affordable housing development instead, and sets a high standard for this “pay-in-lieu” alternative.)
The proposal also prescribes the character of the income-restricted housing. For example, the affordable units must be evenly distributed throughout the development. (Some New York developers who received tax abatements for including income restricted housing in their projects included separate doors, dubbed “poor doors,” for those residents. They were later banned).
The ordinance passed its first reading in late June but didn’t pass its final vote on July 12th, due in part to confusion about which version of the law was being voted on that resulted in three “no” votes and two abstentions. The latest version of the ordinance will be considered again for a first reading on September 7th.
The Facebook live town hall will give the mayor a chance to frame the issue ahead of that vote and to address live viewer questions and feedback. BrickCityLive.com will recap the session.
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