Council Member Backs Away From Idea To Mandate Affordable Housing In New Projects

Feb 18, 2021

A Cincinnati council member has moved away from a proposal to mandate affordable housing in most new development projects. 

Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney initially wanted to consider a plan that would require low- and middle-income housing as a condition for getting benefits like tax abatements.

"We've moved away from the mandate language," Kearney said. "I got early feedback — from our law department, from affordable housing advocates, from developers, business people — that the mandating language is really going to create roadblocks, and so we are not doing that."

The motion council passed Thursday asks for a report from city administrators on ways to incentivize affordable housing. It still includes language about mandating units, but Kearney says she's communicated with administrators about what they're looking for.

It's one of many efforts at City Hall on this issue, including a new subcommittee that convened this week. The Budget and Finance Committee is expected to discuss and pass a "balanced development scorecard" which will include an affordable housing element.