While Denver works to replace its inclusionary housing ordinance, New Orleans wants one

It hasn’t worked here. Could it work there?

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It’s like Freaky Friday, but for cities. 

In the next 10 years, Denver wants about $155 million for its new affordable housing plan, with the money coming from a combination of property taxes and fees on new development. That plan will replace the current Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.

Basically, an IHO requires housing developers to build some affordable units if they build a certain number of market-rate units. Or pay the city money. It gets complicated.

Anyway, over in the parallel universe that is New Orleans, the mayor has proposed adding an inclusionary housing ordinance. The local homebuilders association is not happy about it.

“I frankly feel like it’s being rammed down the private sector’s throat,” John Luther, executive vice president of the Homebuilders Association of Greater New Orleans, told the The Times-Picayune.

Luther adds that he doesn’t regard IHOs as effective. Perhaps not totally crazy given that, in Denver, the ordinance has added only 34 units in the past four years.

But don’t go thinking Denver is full of private and public sector camaraderie. At a Denver City Council Safety and Well-being Committee meeting Wednesday, there was developer discord over new proposed fees to pay for about half of that $155 million fund:

Another interesting point of divergence: Denver has set a goal of 6,000 new affordable housing units over the next 10 years. New Orleans wants 7,500 units in the next five. See you in five years when we can check back on this.