Los Angeles Adopts 'Linkage Fee' for Affordable Housing Funding
"The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to impose a new fee on development to raise millions of dollars a year for affordable housing as the city copes with rising rents and surging homelessness," reports Dakota Smith.
"Under the measure, builders will pay $1 to $15 a square foot, depending on the type of project and area, with higher fees in 'high-market' neighborhoods, including the Westside, and lower fees in areas that include San Pedro and South L.A.," according to Smith. Policy makers hope the new fee will generate $100 million every year after it goes into affect in 2019. More detail on how the fee works is included in the article.
The proposed "linkage fee" has been a subject of political debate for several years in Los Angeles, but the vote now comes as a victory for Mayor Eric Garcetti. The mayor has advocated for the linkage fee as a new permanent source of revenue for affordable housing projects.
Mayor Garcetti's comments after the approval of the new linkage fee seems to play two sides of the development politics debate: those in favor of growth and those concerned about gentrification as a result of new development. "Today we see hope in the promise that Los Angeles can continue to grow and indeed must grow….That when we see luxury condominiums going up, that we can make sure that there is money paid in to build housing for the rest of us," said Mayor Garcetti, as quoted in the article.
The new fee is unpopular with developers in the city, who say the new expense will most likely be passed down to renters. Others have argued that more fees are likely to slow or halt development altogether, making the fee ineffective for its own purposes.