Mayor Berke says New PILOT Agreement Could Lead to More Affordable Housing Downtown
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Mayor Andy Berke says he’s working hard to bring affordable residential housing to downtown. “We want to make sure that everybody has access to our downtown,” said Mayor Berke, “And one of the reasons that there’s so much demand for people to live downtown, is because there’s so many jobs down here.”
Tuesday afternoon Mayor Berke announced his plan to change our city’s payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) agreements, “From here on forward we will recommend the denial of any PILOTs that are based on a 20 percent affordability factor,” said Mayor Berke.
In other words, city and county officials will only consider PILOT agreements for developments with a much higher affordability requirement, which could inevitably lead to more affordable housing.
“Our goal was to unlock development,” said the Mayor, “But now the goal has changed and the goal now is to make sure that more people have access to the incredible amenities and the jobs that we have in our city; particularly in our downtown.”
Construction on the $31 million development, located on Market Street, has already started, which Mayor Berke says is just the beginning of what’s to come for downtown.
In the past two years, five PILOTS have been approved, which is estimated to double the number of people living downtown by the year 2017.