Thursday, June 9, 2016
Thoughts on the Mall Project and Affordable Housing
In the case of the proposed mall project, Don Sinex is proposing to build the bare minimum of affordable units for a building of only 65 feet. Under our normal requirements we could ask him to build much more than 15% for going up to 105 feet. But the city is fixing to give him 160 feet without even asking him for more than the minimum for a 65 foot building. And all along crowing that they are going to improve affordable housing in the city. This is obviously a really bad deal and a terrible precedent.
On another affordable housing note, we have heard that the Burlington College development may also include some irregular affordable housing deals. It seems that instead of providing a percentage of affordable housing as part of his project, Eric Farrell has sold s piece of his property to Champlain Housing Trust so they can build the affordable housing required by this project. Is this really an appropriate way for a developer to fulfill his affordable housing percentages? He probably gave Champlain Housing Trust a good deal, but he is not taking financial responsibility for building the units as part of his own project.