City Council President Darrell Clarke proposed a sweeping vision this week for building 1,500 units of affordable housing in gentrifying areas of Philadelphia. The plan identifies 12 ”Opportunity Zones” across the city, and No. 1 and No. 2 are essentially all of South Philly between Washington and Oregon avenues.
Clarke proposes borrowing $100 million and using what he called untapped federal housing credits for 1,000 units of rental housing in 12. Another 500 would be for sale by middle-income workers.
It’s still very early, and no specific locations have been selected. First District Councilman Mark Squilla (east of Broad, essentially) noted that the zones have not been finalized. “They are not set in stone at this time,” he told us in an email. “We are working with the city to pinpoint all the vacant parcels to put a plan together.”
That said, what do you think about including Point Breeze, East Passyunk and Pennsport in this mix? Should the city be snapping up valuable land in these areas for affordable housing, or should they let the market decide?