Affordable housing bills pass in City Council after 2 years of wrangling

Pat Loeb
October 04, 2018 - 5:06 pm
City Council gave final approval to a package of bills creating funds for affordable housing — but not without a protest.

Pat Loeb | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — City Council gave final approval Thursday to a package of bills creating funds for affordable housing — but not without a protest. 

Keeping housing affordable as the population grows and older homes deteriorate is a thorny problem that most big cities across the country have struggled with. 

City Council spent two years crafting a solution, a process that saw two plans scrapped entirely to get to the compromise package, which takes the tax money from properties with expiring 10-year tax abatements and puts it into the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund for a variety of programs. 

But no compromise makes everyone happy, and that was evident as a coalition of advocates protested. 

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The legislation passed with just one dissenting vote, Councilman Derek Green, who agreed with the protesters.

"I applaud council members for coming up with additional compromises," he said. "I just thought more money should be dedicated specifically to people who are low income and people with disabilities."

The bill now goes to Mayor Jim Kenney, who is expected to sign it.