Berkeley Housing Quota Rises Above City's Comfort Level

<p>City officials in Berkeley, California, are voicing concerns about a regional government association's proposed ousing quota for the next seven years, one which calls for a yearly increase of more than 200%.</p>
January 18, 2007, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"That draft calls for Berkeley to add 2,712 new housing units over the next seven years, compared to the goal of 1,269 ABAG had imposed for 1999-2006."

"'400 units a year over the next seven years is quite a bit,' said Commissioner James Samuels. 'The most we ever had was 150.'"

"Because of lack of funds, one way to increase the number of units for lower income residents is by approving projects for market-rate tenants, which are required either to include units for rent or sale of lower-income tenants or to pay fees that can be used to provide new or renovated housing elsewhere in the city."

"But while the city has been able to fulfill its market-rate quotas, units for residents who make less than 80 percent of the area's median income haven't kept pace. Neither has housing for so-called moderate-income tenants, those earning between 80 and 120 percent of the median."

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Published on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 in The Berkeley Daily Planet
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