A measure prohibiting cities in Louisiana from requiring developers to include affordable housing in their projects, which is targeted at proposed laws in New Orleans and other major cities in the state has now passed both chambers of the state Legislature.
Senate Bill 462 by state Sen. Danny Martiny passed the House 61-29 on Tuesday. Because of changes made on the House floor, it now goes back to the state Senate, which passed the bill 26-11 last month.
If the Senate approves the changes, the bill will be sent to Edwards for his signature or veto.
Edwards’ spokesman could not be reached for comment on his plans late Wednesday.
The bill, which was backed by the Louisiana Home Builders Association, would repeal a provision of state law that allows cities to enact what are known as “inclusionary zoning” policies. Under those policies, certain large residential developments can be required to set aside some units as affordable housing for low-income residents.
Martiny’s bill would instead allow local governments only to offer incentives to developers to include affordable housing units in their projects.
Advocates for affordable housing have said both requirements and incentives are needed to deal with the high cost of housing in New Orleans and elsewhere and that the state’s intervention will rob local governments of their right to make the best rules for their residents.
SB462 “continues to be a bad bill for New Orleans and a bad bill for Louisiana,” said Andreanecia Morris, with HousingNOLA and the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance.
Developers, on the other hand, have said the measure is needed to keep communities from imposing onerous burdens on new developments.
No municipality in the state now has inclusionary zoning policies in place, though officials in New Orleans and several other cities have been considering them. In addition to New Orleans, officials in Baton Rouge and Shreveport opposed Martiny’s bill.
A previous effort at imposing such a ban was attempted last year, but after passing the Senate it failed to get out of a House committee.
Editor's note: This story was updated on May 10, 2018, to correct an error about what the next step for the bill is. The original story stated the bill was headed to Gov. John Bel Edwards for his signature or veto. However, because the bill was amended by the House, it must be approved again by the Senate before it goes to the governor.