A Comprehensive Affordable Housing Strategy Is More Than Just Inclusionary Zoning

<p>Participating on Oakland’s Inclusionary Housing Blue Ribbon Commission, a home builder points to the futility of inclusionary zoning and lists effective alternatives that should be included in a comprehensive approach to building affordable housing.</p>
February 20, 2007, 5am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Joseph Perkins is President and CEO of the Home Builders Association of Northern California headquartered in San Ramon and a member of the City of Oakland's Inclusionary Housing Blue Ribbon Commission. In this op-ed, he urges the city to take a comprehensive approach to building affordable housing rather than relying solely on an inclusionary housing ordinance.

"If the city of Oakland really and truly means to grow its supply of affordable housing, then the commission should devise a comprehensive housing affordability plan that calls for contributions not just from the home building industry, but from the entire private sector, as well as the public sector and the lay public."

"State law requires that redevelopment agencies use at least 20 percent of their revenues for affordable housing. Yet, nothing precludes cities like Oakland from committing a larger proportion of those revenues for affordable housing. For example, the city of San Francisco dedicates 50 percent of its redevelopment revenues to affordable housing."

"Housing trust funds are another means of generating monies for affordable housing. Oakland's Affordable Housing Trust Fund imposes a jobs/housing impact fee on new office and warehouse development."

"A better approach, arguably, would be for city to adopt a linkage fee, like Napa County, which would be assessed not just on office and warehouse, but also new commercial and retail. Those revenues could then be distributed as loans to non-profit developers to provide leverage for tax-credit developments that are 100 percent affordable."

Thanks to ABAG-MTC Library

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Published on Friday, February 16, 2007 in The Oakland Tribune
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