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Land Bank Authority takes action to protect housing affordability
SAVANNAH (Aug. 10) – On Aug. 9, the Chatham County/City of Savannah Land Bank Authority adopted new affordability guidelines and requirements (attached), to help ensure that properties it provides are developed with affordable housing. The guidelines provide affordability requirements for developers acquiring properties for redevelopment of affordable housing for both sale and for rent.
These new housing affordability requirements include capping home buyer income at 80-percent of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Area Median Income (AMI) and capping sales prices of affordable housing at a price to be evaluated quarterly by the Land Bank Authority based on a variety of market factors. Rental requirements, like home purchase requirements, also include a mandate that at least 50-percent of dwellings developed must be affordable, meaning the renter must meet the same income requirements as those set forth for home purchasers of affordable housing. Rents for affordable dwellings cannot exceed HUD-published Fair Market Rents.
The Land Bank Authority took this action in response to market conditions and construction costs that have significantly changed and increased during the past year. Recognizing these challenges when they surfaced earlier this year, the Authority proactively began reviewing its housing affordability policies and requirements to better ensure that housing produced on property it makes available will be affordable.
A part of the Land Bank Authority’s mission is to acquire, clear title and provide properties that are blighted, abandoned, and tax delinquent for the purpose of returning underutilized properties to a productive use, with an emphasis on the creation of affordable housing. Interested heirs to properties acquired by the Authority are given first opportunity to acquire and develop the property once title has been cleared.