Sacramento City Council to cast final vote on affordable housing fee

By Brooke Purves

An updated mixed-use housing ordinance may give the city of Sacramento the revenue needed to actually build some of the affordable housing units it says are needed.

Forward to the Sacramento City Council on June 25, the ordinance centers on a proposed $2.58-per-square-foot impact fee on all new multi-unit building projects that developers would be asked to pay.

The $11.8 million in revenue that’s projected by 2020 would fund just over 150 affordable dwellings, says Sacramento Housing Alliance Executive Director Darryl Rutherford.

That number is in line with the city’s goal of leveraging 1,570 affordable homes with $110.5 million by 2035.

But Rutherford suggested an impact fee closer to $10-$13-per-square-foot is necessary to truly meet the city’s housing needs.

According to the ordinance, developers can avoid the fee altogether by incorporating regulated low-income housing into at least 10 percent of any project.

That incentive helps foster the mixed-income element of the ordinance: Housing developments would include units available for a wide range of income levels instead of segregating neighborhoods by housing type.

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