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Oceanside Cuts In Developer Fees Challenged

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.

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