The Minneapolis business community has been unable to find common ground with the leadership of the Minneapolis City Council that plans, likely at the Dec. 7 council meeting, to pass an ordinance that would reserve at least 10 percent of all new rental units for lower-rent affordable housing.

Developer-builder Kelly Doran, a Minneapolis resident and one of the city’s busiest developers since 2009, has said that he and other developers likely would abandon new projects as a result.

CEO Steve Cramer of the Downtown Council, a former head of nonprofit housing-and-training agency Project for Pride in Living, is leading the business coalition and. He said developers should not be the only ones funding affordable housing. And there are better alternatives, including using the increased taxes from a development to fund affordable units through contributions to an affordable-housing capital pool.

Also, business wants flexibility. For example, a developer of market-rate units could cover the commitment by collaborating with a nonprofit such as PPL or CommonBond on a stand-alone affordable project, which often incudes support services and training for low-income residents. Or market-rate developers could contribute directly to a city affordable housing fund.

Mayor Jacob Frey has committed a record $40 million to affordable housing projects in next year’s budget.

The column from a few weeks ago: http://www.startribune.com/homebuilders-concerned-about-proposed-minneapolis-inclusionary-zoning-rule/498746871/

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