Allentown’s housing costs are out of control; Bad deals, red tape, and annual tax increases are causing our housing prices to skyrocket. Our elected officials have ignored this problem for years, but Tim knows it’s time to act. Click on the items below to read more about how Tim will address the rising cost of living.
Rein in Artificial Markets
The Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ), which covers large sections of the downtown and the waterfront, is a state program that gives large benefits to developers who build in these areas. This zone has had benefits for the city, but it’s also creating an affordability crisis for Allentown residents. Because of the NIZ, an artificial market has been created; Despite high demand for market-rate housing, the bulk of new development in the city consists of luxury apartments. The result: high demand, low supply, and skyrocketing rent. Tim will work with the NIZ’s governing board, developers, and state leaders to fix the problems with the NIZ so that we can stop the rent spikes and create a downtown for every Allentonian.
Eliminate obstacles to Affordable Housing
All over the country, housing costs are rising, but they’re rising more than three times faster in Allentown. The main problem: basic supply and demand. Parts of the city are in dire need of market-rate housing, but red tape from city hall is making it difficult to build for the demand. Tim will reform our zoning laws to make it easier to build market-rate housing on abandoned or underutilized sites while also ensuring that neighborhoods zoned for single-family housing stay that way.
Increase Home Ownership
In addition to addressing the rising cost of apartments in the city, we also need to address the cost of houses. The main issue in Allentown is that bad policy from decades ago allowed many old rowhomes to be carved up and converted into multi-unit apartments. These rowhomes weren’t built to be apartments, and while they were affordable at one time, these houses have become more expensive and difficult to maintain over time. Add in hundreds of absentee landlords, and it’s time to give some of these rowhomes back to homeowners. That’s why he’ll create a five-year tax break for any resident who converts a multi-family rowhome back into a single-family unit.
In 2018 the mayor passed a 27% property tax increase after years of the city raising other taxes and fees. At the same time, the Allentown School District continues to raise taxes almost annually despite receiving numerous bailouts. This has to stop; landlords are raising rent, seniors are being forced out of their homes, and small businesses are struggling because of the constant tax increases. Tim knows we can’t keep asking city residents to tighten their belts while the city and school district loosen theirs, we need to start serving taxpayers. That’s why Tim will use a portion of the stimulus to pay down debt, remove waste in the city budget, and increase the rate of home ownership to reduce the strain on the school district.
Have questions? Ask Tim what you want to see done about this and other issues: