Bay Area cities and counties falling dramatically short of affordable housing goals

“[F]ive years of housing permit data for the current planning cycle — which ends in 2023 — shows that no city or county was even close to meeting its [Regional Housing Needs Allocation set by the Association of Bay Area Governments].

“During [the first five years of the current planning cycle], Dublin, known for being one of the fastest growing places in the state, issued just 3.27 percent of its permit goal for very-low-income housing, 8.74 percent of its goal for low-income, and 9.18 percent of its moderate-income goal.

“Over those same five years, the Bay Area as a region fared only slightly better, with cities and counties combining to issue just 15 percent of building permits needed to meet the Bay Area’s very-low-income housing goals and 25 percent of its low-income goals, according to ABAG data.

“[M]any local leaders say it’s a daunting task to build affordable housing with the limited availability of open land and without some kind of regular funding source even as the proposed affordable housing goals for the next planning cycle are substantially larger than what they’ve been in the past.

“To help bridge the funding gap, some cities have looked to things like increasing the real estate transfer tax, creating a business tax for rental housing, requiring developers to build affordable housing as a condition of project approvals, and charging developer fees that go into an affordable housing trust fund[.]

“While the COVID-19 pandemic delayed plans to put the first regional housing bond on the ballot in all nine Bay Area Counties, the [state’s first regional affordable housing financing authority] hopes to do so in the near future, according to its website.”

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