There is currently an abundance of empty office buildings in Philadelphia that are highly environmentally unfriendly, and converting them into affordable housing could be good both from a business and environmental perspective, writes Jake Blumgart for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
While a new study found that it would be harder to convert these spaces into apartments in Philadelphia than in other parts of the country, a policy by the Biden administration could help in closing that gap.
Arpit Gupta, of New York University, and Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, of Columbia University, believe that President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act could subsidize office conversions into affordable housing where the financials otherwise would not make this feasible, including in cities such as Philadelphia.
“There are a number of provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that can be used to help further conversions,” said Gupta.
The process includes a significant amount for projects that are engaged in energy-efficient uses.
“Most recently, the federal government has provided additional guidance on how this money can be spent, emphasizing that conversions are a potential use for this pot of money,” said Gupta.
Read more about the issue in The Philadelphia Inquirer.