Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

Thank you, Mr. President. Today, Mr. President, I introduced the Opportunity Zone Bill under your 1500 New Affordable Housing Units Initiative. The Grays Ferry and Point Breeze neighborhoods are neighborhoods in my district that have been recognized as areas that are rapidly developing with an abundance of speculative and market-rate development, yet a serious lack of affordable and workforce housing.

I'm supportive of this initiative, as it seeks to help manage this growth by utilizing publicly owned land and untapped funding resources. Already in my district on the 1300 block of South Bouvier Street, we have piloted a development project that exhibits some of the principles and properties of the Opportunity Zone Initiative. With the Bouvier Street project, we put out an RFP to have a grouping of City-owned properties developed as workforce housing by offering the land at a discount as long as the developer who was awarded the contract passes the savings on to the purchaser. This project will build 16 units of City-owned land, seven which will be sold around the ball park figure of $150,000. The RFP has just been awarded, and we're hoping to see this project break ground soon.

I look forward to working with the Council President and my colleagues through this 1500 New Affordable and Workforce Housing Units Initiative to create more units in my district through similar means. By utilizing our public-owned vacant properties to promote workforce housing, we can grow truly sustainable neighborhoods and strong diverse communities. It is important that we realize this goal.

We as a city should be looking to promote policies and development that acknowledge that these are communities and neighborhoods and not just parcels of land. By doing so, we not only work to increase our tax base and work towards cleaner, safer neighborhoods, but we also support and strengthen communities that are invested in each other and this city.

If we want better schools and safer streets, we need to do everything we can to help our neighborhoods grow and develop in a sustainable, intelligent way, with a strong focus on community.

And, Council President, I just want to acknowledge your work and your efforts in addressing this issue. You have my support, and we look forward to making this initiative a reality.

Thank you very much, Council President.

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