Preservation in Mind

As more property owners seek to get rid of their federally assisted housing, advocates hope they’ll sell to someone interested in preserving affordability. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) filed a bill in June that gives owners relief from “exit taxes” if they sell to buyers committed to extending affordability for 30 years. If owners have to pay the taxes, they are more likely to make deals with for-profit developers who can afford a higher sale price. The Millennial Housing Commission identified exit tax relief as key to affordable housing preservation in its 2002 report. (

Alan Mallach, senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress and the National Housing Institute, is the author of many works on housing and planning, including Bringing Buildings Back, A Decent Home, and Inclusionary Housing in International Perspective. He served as director of housing and economic development for Trenton, New Jersey, from 1990 to 1999, and teaches in the City and Regional Planning program at Pratt Institute.


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