Inclusionary zoning ordinance in final hearing - Approved

Published on December 13, 2018

city seal blue and gold (Miami, FL December 13, 2018) - A mandatory inclusionary zoning ordinance sponsored by Vice Chairman Ken Russell was approved today by the Miami City Commission. The ordinance mandates the inclusion of affordable housing in certain projects in the Omni CRA district. 

“We have already approved three projects in that area on a piecemeal basis and they voluntarily proffered, kicking and screaming, to do the exact same thing that we are doing in this ordinance,” Russell said. “The first building is complete, it’s over 90 percent rented, 99 workforce units are in there. I visited it and this is the workforce of the city. This is not the whole solution, but it is the beginning of much more that we can do for the people of Miami.” 
 
The inclusionary zoning ordinance, the first of its kind in Miami-Dade County, affects properties within Miami’s Omni CRA district with a zoning designation of T6-24B. In return for being allowed to build more square footage, properties that qualify must include workforce or affordable housing in their projects. Workforce housing is affordable for people making up to 140% of the area median income (AMI). Affordable housing as defined in this ordinance means people earning about 80% of AMI.
 
Specifically:
·         Rental developments would have to include either a minimum of 14% workforce housing units, or a minimum of 7% affordable units.
·         Condo developments would have to include a minimum of 10% workforce or a minimum of 5% affordable units.
 
Vice Chairman Russell, who also serves as chairman of the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), has made affordable housing a priority, setting a goal to invest more than $100 million in affordable housing from that agency. Russell was also part of the coalition on the Miami City Commission that approved and passed by voter referendum a $400 million bond that included $100 million dedicated to affordable housing citywide.
 
The mandatory inclusionary zoning change offers another tool toward creating affordable options in the area just north of downtown.