The Affordable Housing Challenge
Mayor Ed Gainey pledged to bring more affordable housing to Pittsburgh, but high construction costs & other challenges won't make it easy.
June 1, 2022
Originally published on May 13, 2022, by Margaret Krauss for WESA.fm.
In a suit filed Thursday, The Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh argues that the city’s legislation shifts the burden of creating affordable housing from the general public to a small group — developers — and violates constitutional property rights.
The government has to provide “just compensation” in exchange for private property, it can’t simply take it. But Jim Eichenlaub, the association’s executive director, said that’s precisely what the inclusionary zoning (IZ) law in Pittsburgh does: it forces developers to pay to create affordable housing.
“Either through increased rent, increased purchase price, or the developer has to just eat those costs,” he said. “That’s a violation of private property, and that’s a taking.”
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