Suburbs & Affordable Housing

Nothing can scuttle the marketing and sales opportunities of a new suburban community faster than an affordable housing requirement.

Regardless of the reality, the perception is, among home buyers, that affordable housing equals crime and blight; and in consumer sales, perception is often the driver.

Consequently, the recent action by Sacramento County Supervisors to reduce the affordable housing requirement, as reported by the Sacramento Bee, is very good news for suburban development.

An excerpt.

Sacramento County supervisors voted Tuesday to reduce affordable housing requirements, hoping to spur home construction after a recessionary lull despite opposition from advocates for low-income residents.

In a 3-2 vote, supervisors reduced the required level of affordable housing contributions and gave builders an option to pay a fee rather than set aside land or construct low-income units in new developments.

The county previously required that builders devote the equivalent of 15 percent of new projects toward affordable housing, and developers for years have sought to reduce that threshold through political and legal means.

Representatives of the North State Building Industry Alliance and other development groups told supervisors Tuesday that the recession has hurt the industry, and the old affordable housing ordinance will further damage middle-class home buyers and construction workers. But advocates for low-income residents say builders have used the housing ordinance as a scapegoat and that the county should give its 15 percent requirement a chance to succeed as the housing market gains strength.

Supervisors on Tuesday approved a new ordinance that is expected to produce 10 percent of affordable housing on new construction, according to projections from staff. That is more than the 8 percent originally proposed by staff. Fee proceeds will go toward a county fund dedicated for affordable housing programs.

Retrieved January 29, 2014 from

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
This entry was posted in demographics, Economy, Government. Bookmark the permalink.