Construction continues on the Thrive At the Park apartments at the intersection of Sam Cooper Blvd. and East Pkwy. in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Brandon Dill for MLK50.

Need a quick primer on how the city-county’s chief economic development agency subsidizes apartments many Memphians won’t be able to afford? Here are some takeaways.

Related: New tax-subsidized apartments fail to address acute shortage of affordable housing.

  1. Developers of seven new apartment projects will pay 25% of their property tax bills for up to 15 years.
  2. In return, developers had to set aside 20% of their units – 273 out of nearly 1,300 – to rent to “low and moderate-income renters” at reduced rates.
  3. Despite reduced rents, Memphians who earn $15 an hour or less (that’s half of all Black workers) won’t be able to afford the new apartments.
  4. The new apartment complexes are being built in Midtown and East Memphis, not low-income neighborhoods where they’re needed most.
  5. EDGE officials don’t consider affordability when deciding whether to give tax breaks to residential developers

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