Thursday, June 23, 2011
Oceanside City Council voted three to two this week to dramatically lower the fees developers have to pay if they chose not to build state-mandated affordable housing.
Affordable housing advocates see this as another blow to affordable housing, which is already threatened by a loss of funding if redevelopment agencies are eliminated in the state budget.
The Building Industry Association says fees paid in lieu of building affordable housing are a barrier to new construction. Oceanside’s council majority decided to remove that barrier and lower the fees from more than $10,000 to less than $2,000.
Susan Tinsky heads San Diego’s Housing Federation, which coordinates new affordable housing projects.
“This is really precedent setting in terms of the in-lieu fee,” Tinsky said, “This is a new low for the inclusionary housing programs, both regionally and state-wide and nationally. “
Building industry officials say allowing developers to build higher-density projects is a better incentive to create affordable housing.
The BIA also helped Oceanside officials draft a new city charter that allows the city to hire non-union labor on construction projects.