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Concerns Rising over New Affordable Housing Law

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The D.C. Council unanimously passed a new law that may be more trouble than its worth. The Disposition of District Land for Affordable Housing Amendment Act (DDLAH) requires residential buildings built on land formally owned by the District to allocate 30 percent of their units to affordable housing. District Hopper, a blog focused on D.C. legislation, recently took a look at the criticisms that have accumulated. Lisa Maria Mallory, CEO of the District of Columbia Building Industry Association (DCBIA), argued that the new law will add further complexities that may drive down developer interest. Developers may not even want to create a PUD if a small D.C.-owned parcel of land is adjacent to it, according to Kent Boese, chairman of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A. Currently, it's difficult for developers to know which properties are owned by the District because it's hard to come by a list of buyable properties, according to Cheryl Cort, policy director for land-use rights group Coalition for Smarter Growth and adviser to the creation of DDLAH.
The requirements for the DDLAH state that if a building has 10 or more units, is within half a mile of a Metro station, a quarter of a mile of a streetcar line, or within a quarter of a mile of a Priority Corridor Network, the property must allocate 30 percent of its units to affordable housing. If the development does not meet those requirements, the developer is only required to allocate 20 percent of its units to affordable housing. According to District Hopper, the mayor is able to waive or reduce the affordable housing requirements.
· Issue Take: D.C.'s Newest Housing Affordability Law [District Hopper]