Northern News

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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Making great communities happen

South City scopes affordable housing options

By Austin Walsh, Daily Journal, May 3, 2021

“The South San Francisco City Council discussed during a study session Tuesday, April 27, a proposal to hike commercial linkage fees alongside hopes to purchase more land officials could use to build below-market-rate developments.

“Agreeing financial contributions from commercial developers comprise the most significant source of income which can be used for constructing affordable units, officials looked for ways to build the linkage fund.

“Should the city expand its funds addressing housing affordability, [Vice Mayor Mark] Nagales said he favored examining opportunities to acquire new properties which South San Francisco could use to partner with nonprofit builders.

“ROEM Development Company constructing an entirely affordable building with 37 units after South San Francisco donated the land at 418 Linden Ave. was acknowledged as a model partnership officials hoped to replicate if they controlled more land.

“Nagales said officials are compelled to try and lead the process of building new affordable housing because no new large developments have been proposed in South San Francisco since councilmembers hiked the city’s below-market-rate mandate.

“Chief Planner Tony Rozzi [AICP] added that some large projects entitled prior to the increase have sought a series of legislative actions that would expose them to further negotiations with officials, which can reopen the affordable housing conversation.”

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