Washington D.C.

Can D.C. afford a $15/hour minimum wage?

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Cross-posted on Brookings’ Metro Blog, The Avenue

Alan Berube

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that D.C. city officials have cleared the way for a voter initiative in November 2016 to raise the city’s hourly minimum wage to $15. The proposal is already pitting labor unions and other progressive groups who back the rise against restaurant owners and the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, who warn that the hike would force job cuts and business closings.

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Behind the “Poor Door” Controversy: Inclusionary Zoning Policies in Cities and Suburbs

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MD affordable housing - body

Barbara Ray

Affordable housing is in the news these days as New York City makes headlines for its efforts to build more housing at affordable rents. Whether it’s the “poor door” controversy or the de Blasio administration’s push to mandate developers to include affordable units in every development, a widespread and growing problem is coming into focus.

The “poor door” has set off a wave of criticism because the affordable units are in a separate section from the rest of the luxury high-rise, and low-income residents must enter through a separate door. They also do not have equal access to the building amenities. The reason for the separate entrance, developers argue, is cost.

As the president of the development company told the New York Times, having the affordable apartments incorporated into the condominium tower would have meant “giving away” the most valuable units.

“We wouldn’t be able to do affordable,” he said. “It wouldn’t make any financial sense.” Read More

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