New Report Highlights Inclusionary Housing in California

New Report Highlights Inclusionary Housing in California

Institute for Local Self Government

SACRAMENTO, CA--By the end of the year, as many as one-fourth of all California cities are expected to have inclusionary housing policies in place to improve housing opportunities for low-income families. How local agencies are implementing these programs is the subject of a recent report issued by the Institute for Local Self Government (ILSG).

Inclusionary housing programs require developers to build a percentage of affordable homes (usually 10 to 20 percent) in new housing developments, according to the ILSG report, entitled "California Inclusionary Housing Reader"(149 pp, $20). The Reader reviews several key implementation issues and even provides a fully annotated sample ordinance.

The report "provides a starting point for development and implementation," according to contributor Bill Higgins, who added that communities "don't have to reinvent the wheel to provide affordable housing."

The City of San Diego and Placer County are among the most recent local agencies in California to adopt an inclusionary program, with the issue is pending in another 20 communities including Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Modesto and Greenfield (Monterey County).

Affordable housing is of special concern to many of California's communities, where the median cost of a home ranges from $250,000 to $400,000. Many developers have argued that inclusionary programs merely add to the cost of market rate housing. But Higgins notes that most successful programs help offset such costs by providing other advantages - such as expedited permit approvals or increasing the total number of housing units - that can help assure that the development remains profitable to the builder.

"The goal of a good ordinance is to find win-win solutions," Higgins said.

The Institute for Local Self Government is affiliated with the League of California Cities, which provided funding for the report. The Sacramento-based law firm of McDonough, Holland & Allen provided additional funding.

Copies may be purchased through the Institute's Web site:

Related Link: More About the California Inclusionary Housing Reader

For more information contact:

Bill Higgins
Institute for Local Self Government
1400 K Street, Suite 400
CA 95819

Phone: (916) 658-8250
Fax: (916) 444-7535
Email: [email protected]

Posted June 16, 2003

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