Council approves first reading of inclusionary housing ordinance

On Tuesday, June 21, the Iowa City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved the first reading of an inclusionary housing ordinance amendment. This zoning code amendment would ensure that a minimum percentage of rental units available at the forthcoming Riverfront Crossings District be made affordable. The Iowa City Planning and Zoning Commission recommended this amendment for approval at their May 19 meeting.

Riverfront Crossings District
Riverfront Crossings District — via the City of Iowa City

Not there yet…
The council voted in approval of the ordinance on Tuesday, but this was only the first reading; two more approved readings are required before the amendment may be adopted.

How much is a “minimum percentage” of affordable units?
According to the amendment, ten percent of rental units in the Riverfront Crossings District must be made affordable for at least 10 years.

What defines “affordable”?
The Planning and Zoning Commission deems housing that does not exceed 60 percent of the household median income to be affordable.

But does the Riverfront Crossings park still plan to include “adventure elements,” like a zip-line and a bouldering course?
The answer is yes.

This support of the first reading of the inclusionary housing ordinance by the City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission by no means resolves the ongoing issue of ensuring housing for the vulnerable members of our growing community, but it does indicate a move in the right direction.

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