Monday, February 1, 2016

Should El Paso City Gov’t Require “Affordable-Housing Impact Statements”?

 Should El Paso City Gov’t Require “Affordable-Housing Impact Statements”?

Other Cities are Ahead of El Paso in Requiring Developers to Measure Effect on Affordable Housing

 In Brentin Mock’s recent article, “The Growing Trend of Affordable Housing Impact Statements“ it describes how developer must do environmental impact statements; basically “if it would make it hard for certain native bird or plant species to live there” an impact statement is needed.

However, this is not done for humans. Why not?

“But what if those condos would make it harder for certain people native to that area to live there also, namely by reducing the level of existing affordable housing?”

With rental costs spiraling out of control some cities, New Orleans in particular (the focus of the article) has introduced a bill requiring “’affordable-housing impact statements’” for any proposed ordinances or applications for new zoning or land use changes.” 

In looking at New Orleans, the author says that “28 percent poverty” exists throughout the city and that there has been a “50 percent rise in renting costs since 2000.” 

The author states that in NO, “More than 70 percent of all household …spend more than a third of their income on housing.”

New Orleans has tacked this buy making a 10-year strategy to “create 5,000 affordable unites by 2021.” What has the City of El Paso done in this regard?

Among the cities that have passed similar legislation have been Atlanta, Austin, and San Diego. The article states that Pittsburgh is considering one.

The author describes a 1994 executive order from President Clinton that “requires federal agencies to consider the effects on low-income families before issuing building permits.”

Nevertheless, the author is pessimistic, as enforcement has been “shaky.” 

But at least these cities are ahead of the game. El Paso is still running the first lap.