Mayors in cities across the U.S. want to loosen rules that can slow the pace of office-to-residential conversions. In some instances, cities have offered generous tax abatements to developers who build new housing.
“We have a great opportunity to change the uses in the downtown,” said Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser at a December 2022 news conference in support of her housing budget proposals.
“It’s absolutely a budget gimmick” said Erica Williams, executive director at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, referring to Bowser’s 2023 proposal to increase the downtown developer tax break. “We fully support the idea that some of these buildings could be turned into residential properties or…