By Rachel Dovey.
Two years ago, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed a linkage fee to help finance affordable housing — a mechanism utilized by governments in San Francisco, San Diego and Oakland that some officials claim will raise around $100 million each year. Last week, however, a City Council committee delayed a vote on the mayor’s plan until the end of July — or even later in the year.
“The delay follows criticism from business groups and some academics who say the fee would slow construction in a city grappling with a housing crisis,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
Officials are under pressure to come up with citywide policies to curb homelessness, which has risen 20 percent over 2016 levels, according to the paper. Garcetti had been counting on $20 million from the fee this year — but that would take approval from the council.
According to the Times:
The proposed fee would apply to new homes, office buildings, apartment towers and other construction — charging $5 per square foot for commercial development and $12 for residential. Residential projects with five or fewer units would be charged $1 per square foot.
Several types of development, including some grocery stores, smaller homes and certain affordable housing projects, are exempted.
In cases in which a home or building is torn down and replaced with a larger one, the proposed fee applies to the amount of increased square footage.