Tax increment financing (TIF) policy began in 1952 in California according to Wikipedia. It took off as a way to encourage development in BLIGHTED areas of cities. It was, like so many ideas, seemingly fair and reasonable on the surface, but the reality of today’s use of TIF has been wholly corrupted and may have become self-defeating to particularly for the purpose of encouraging the creation of affordable (and accessible) housing.
California has since realized their mistake and “revoked this diversion of property tax revenues from public funding.” Because even though it seems like TIF doesn’t “cost” anything (that is, no cash is handed to developers), “the city incurs a loss through foregone tax revenue.” (Wikipedia).
SOMEONE HAS TO PAY FOR THE REDUCTIONS OF PROPERTY TAX REVENUE to incentivize developers to build anything at all these days, and affordable housing becomes the hammer used by developers to make sure it isn’t them.