KC development executives push back against affordable housing ordinance

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Council is facing a big decision that straddles the line of future growth and present poverty.

A new ordinance, introduced by 3rd District Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, would require developers seeking incentives for “primarily” multifamily projects to reserve at least 20% of total units for affordable housing. While Robinson said the legislation is necessary to help local families, developers are pushing back, Kansas City Business Journal reported.

In form letters, Jon Copaken, principal of Copaken Brooks, and developer William Crandall, of CBC Real Estate Group, voiced support for “a new affordable housing policy that is responsive to the market,” but opposed the ordinance as is.

“If enacted, (the ordinance) will have the net effect of disinvestment of real estate development, which will result in less economic recruitment, reduced housing opportunities and reduced jobs for the minority- and women-owned business community,” Copaken and Crandall’s letters read.

By an 8-4 vote, council members on Thursday agreed to a one-week hold on an ordinance. Robinson decried the outcome as a “stall tactic” for an “incremental” and “common sense” measure.

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