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San Diego Lawmakers Introduce Bill Aimed At Creating Affordable Housing

California State Assemblyman Todd Gloria holds a news conference with San Die...

Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS

Above: California State Assemblyman Todd Gloria holds a news conference with San Diego elected officials announcing the introduction of California’s Sustainable and Affordable Housing Act, Feb. 2, 2018.

State and local lawmakers want to make it easier to build more affordable housing units. Assembly Bill 2372 authored by local State Assemblyman Todd Gloria and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher would create a new incentive for developers.

Currently, the City of San Diego uses a unit per acre calculation to determine the maximum number of units a developer can build. The more units they have, the more fees they pay annually.

Traditionally, developers have been incentivized to build affordable housing with density bonuses. If builders agree to create low-income housing units, it means they could potentially build more overall units.

RELATED: Housing Commission Votes To Move $6.5M In Funding Away From Permanent Housing

AB 2372 would give developers a new floor area ratio, FAR, incentive, allowing them to calculate the number of potential units and fees based on square-footage and not units per acre. Gloria believes this would allow developers to maximize space.

"This is a bill that is intended to increase the overall production of housing units." Gloria said. "By switching our unit of measurement from dwelling units per acre to a floor area ratio, we think we can get units that are more affordable without a taxpayer subsidy in places where we need it, specifically along transit priority zones.”

The proposed bill stipulates developments would have to be near transit, and at least 20 percent of units must be designated for low-income housing.

Gloria's office says AB 2372 will soon be referred to the appropriate Assembly committees for consideration and review.

California’s Sustainable and Affordable Housing Act would incentivize developers with a "floor area ratio (FAR)" that lawmakers said would create small and less expensive housing units.

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