Indiana Daily Student

Bloomington to ease tax advantage restrictions to encourage affordable housing

Bloomington’s City Hall received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first city-owned building in Bloomington to receive such certification.
Bloomington’s City Hall received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first city-owned building in Bloomington to receive such certification.

The Bloomington City Council eased requirements for corporations that offer investment in affordable housing to receive tax abatements in an 8-0 vote Wednesday evening. Councilmember Jim Sims was not present due to a family matter. 

The City of Bloomington provides tax advantages for projects that aim to provide a benefit to the quality of life in the city for its residents, such as affordable housing or environmental projects.

Underprevious eligibility requirements, proposed projects needed to demonstrate the creation of full-time, permanent, living-wage jobs. This new resolution removes that requirement, which means investors looking to build or manage affordable housing units will no longer be required to create jobs to receive the tax abatement. 

Jeff McCain, a resident who serves on the commission that recommended this change to the council, said the resolution removes an unnecessary hurdle for investors. 

“It’s always been honestly a little cringeworthy to try and justify affordable housing projects, which nearly everyone was in support of, on the basis of the creation of a half-time apartment maintenance position,” he said. 

McCain said the previous regulation was unnecessary if the city’s goal was to create more affordable housing. 

This is the first time the city’s tax abatement standards have been amended since 2011, according to a memo submitted to the council.

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