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Business Fee That Funds Affordable Housing May Double

Business Fee That Funds Affordable Housing May Double
A controversial business fee could be increasing in the city of San Diego. The money is used to fund affordable housing.

San Diego collects what’s known as a linkage fee. Whenever a commercial project is built, the developers must pay a fee based on how large the development is. That money goes into a fund the city uses for affordable housing.

Right now the fees range from $0.27 to $1.06 per square foot depending on the type of development. The council will consider doubling those fees. The increase would be phased in between now and 2017.

Rick Gentry, president of the San Diego Housing Commission, said he increase is fair.


"For a healthy community you’ve got to have a balance between economic activity and housing," he said. "And we could wind up with a place where jobs are available but no one can afford to live there because the housing costs are so high."

Gentry said the fees have been used to create about 6,000 affordable housing units over the last 20 years.

But business groups oppose the increase. In a statement, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association said the move comes at a bad time.

This action may be taken despite a historic recession and without regard for the concerns voiced by business leaders that this would further hurt jobs creation and economic recovery in San Diego.

The city council will consider the measure at its meeting this afternoon.