City Council votes to update Workforce Housing Offset Fee

SAN DIEGO – Led by Council Member Myrtle Cole and Council President Todd Gloria, the City Council Monday moved forward with a measure to update Workforce Housing Offset fee, which would provide additional funds for the development of affordable housing in San Diego.

The measure to direct the City Attorney to draft the necessary Municipal Code changes passed with a vote of 7-1.

“Today’s bold move by the City Council caps a years long contentious debate between affordable housing advocates and members of the business community with a reasonable, collaborative result. I thank Council Member Cole for helping us reach this point,” said Council President Gloria.

The City Council directed the City Attorney to draft the following Municipal Code updates. The Workforce Housing Offset is commonly known as the linkage fee or Housing Impact Fee.

Fee: Raise the fee 100%, phased-in over three years, to the 1990 level. Phase-in period begins on January 1, 2015.

The Housing Impact Fee adjustment will not sunset.

Exempt manufacturing, warehouse, and nonprofit hospitals from the Housing Impact Fee for the purposes of economic development.

No adjustment to the fee levels for research and development construction, for the purpose of economic development.

Remove requirement for annual recommendation to the Council for revenue level update based on a construction cost index.

The linkage fee was created in 1990 and requires that commercial developers who build in San Diego help cover the cost of providing affordable housing for low-wage workers through a one-time payment, assessed as a small percentage of development costs, which is deposited into the City’s Housing Trust Fund.

Categories: KUSI