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Redevelopment Authority Passes Resolution Instituting New Affordability Requirements

August 21, 2020 | Department of Community Planning & Economic Development Housing & Economic Development Division Redevelopment Authority
By: Amber Strazzo

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Lancaster (RACL) passed a resolution Tuesday adopting a policy for instituting affordability requirements for properties sold by the authority to developers. Resolution #20-8-19 passed unanimously at the authority’s virtual meeting.  

Developers buying properties from RACL are now required to sell those properties to someone whose annual family income is at or below 80% of the Lancaster County Area Median Income (AMI) at the time of the sale, or rent the property to a tenant whose annual family income is at or below 60% of the Lancaster County AMI. Whether sold or rented, affordability restrictions will remain on RACL properties for 15 years. 

This resolution replaces Resolution #10-7-30, which required residential properties sold by RACL to be owner-occupied through a deed restriction. The new resolution provides more flexibility for redevelopers while ensuring that RACL properties remain affordable. 

“In today’s housing market, affordable housing is needed and we are hoping that having this restriction in place will assist with that goal,” said Marisol Torres, the Housing & Economic Development Administrator for the City of Lancaster and Acting Executive Director to the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Lancaster. 

“I am so grateful for the innovative thinking and partnership amongst the RACL board members and City staff.  RACL has been helping to transform properties from vacant to vibrant for many years.  Now the new policy change means that homes will go to households that need them most, and it reflects a broader commitment to creating more low- to moderate-income housing in the city,” said Chris Delfs, Director of the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development. 

This initiative is expected to add an average of seven affordable units in Lancaster city annually.

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Lancaster (RACL) was established in 1957 to redevelop areas of Lancaster city through urban renewal. Since its inception, RACL has sold approximately 500 properties to homeowners and redevelopers. These properties are located in all quadrants of the city, but are especially concentrated in the southeast and southwest.