cchip part 3

by Ben OlivoJanuary 25, 2019

This is a column of analysis

Excuse me while I

When the city launched the Center City Housing Incentive Policy in 2012, there wasn't anything controversial about it. Many San Antonians could still afford to live downtown. I was able to live comfortably at the Brady Tower on Houston Street on a newspaperman's salary. And then around 2016, I was priced out, and I moved from the dead center of downtown to Government Hill.

CCHIP coverage
This is the third and final analysis in an series examining revisions to the Center City Housing Incentives Policy, also known as CCHIP, which City Council approved Dec. 13. Here are the other parts:
» Part 1: Downtown’s housing incentives are changing. Here’s why you should care.
» Part 2: Are developers receiving incentives they don’t need?

But 2012 is also when you started to notice the shift happening—from where downtown used to be to where it is now in terms of affordability—or, lack there of. By the end of 2017, when Mayor Ron Nirenberg placed a moratorium on CCHIP, the downtown area was full-blown exclusive. Around this time, the conversation about San Antonio's inequality had reached its apogee, and Nirenberg acted.

San Antonio was—is—already a poor city, and CCHIP was recreating downtown Austin in terms of its exorbitant rents. It also was recreating downtown Austin in terms of its vibrancy. And this is what the CCHIP revisions attempt to do: strike the balance between reviving downtown, while maintaining some options for those who may want to live here.

At its core, this was the debate that really heated up these last few months regarding CCHIP. Will a requirement for more affordability stunt the growth we had been experiencing before the moratorium? How much should a city should demand from developers who receive tax breaks?

I've gathered my own thoughts and analysis now that the CCHIP revisions were approved by the City Council last week.

Please keep in mind that the Heron, in its six-month existence, has been very careful to present facts and viewpoints from all sides of every story, and present them in a balanced so that you, the reader, can decide what side of the issue you stand on.

In this piece, you'll read some opinion. But that opinion will be restricted to matters of transparency, and matters of transparency only. You'll get what I'm talking about in the first of five takeaways from the downtown housing incentives debate:

1. The question nobody asked

2. What is CCHIP really about?

There was a fascinating butting of philosophical heads I didn't get to fully explores, and for that I am regretful. But it's this notion of CCHIP true purpose.

Early on, I interviewed developer David Adelman . . .

One of those balls is a fascinating interview I did with downtown developer David Adelman.

In it, his main point, which made it into this story, was that people conflate the issues of economic development with affordable housing.



This seemed to get a lot of traction

It's a point city officials, such as Assistant City Manager Lori Houston, said over and over again. CCHIP did was it was supposed to do. Sure, there was the one mess up with Mission Trails . . .

» what is this really about?
adelman's and french's point vs. berriozabal's and saldana's point
are they linked or are they not linked?


also from the Mayor's Housing Policy Task Force

two sides, who are vehemently sticking by their guns

which leads to the whole supply and demand debate ...

3. Supply and demand

what about demand?

explain austin and san francisco

4. AMI once and for all

hud vs u.s. census
alamo community group

5. Transparency?

» lack of a true public process
sucky database
TXP study never released
shirley gonzales

6. Motive

6. Displacement

I have yet to meet someone who has been displaced
the conversation about neighborhoods
the bridge apartments

8. The development pattern

just downtown,
it had it's good and bad

9. Motive

9. How Nirenberg changed the conversation

nirenberg changed the conversation
how we talk about affordability

7. What happens now?

7 » what will happen
whether it will kick back up or slow
shown's point

cops metro???

bill shown



1 » the question no one asks
how much money people are making
we need all the facts
transparency, the list will likely not include
allude to supply and demand, with not knowing the demand
what kind of downtown do you want?

2 » what is this really about?
adelman's and french's point vs. berriozabal's and saldana's point
are they linked or are they not linked?

3 » ami
hud vs u.s. census

4 » lack of a true public process

5 » what will happen
whether it will kick back up or slow
shown's point

nirenberg changed the conversation

Contact Ben Olivo: 210-421-3932 | | @rbolivo on Twitter

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