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Comstock’s Magazine recently highlighted the Mountain Housing Council’s work on development fees in an in-depth article entitled Down to the Details published on Jan. 8.

The Sacramento-based magazine examined the Town of Truckee’s new development fee structure, which follows many of the recommendations made by the Mountain Housing Council. But it also looked at how fee policy makes a real difference in achievable housing projects, referencing the Mountain Housing Council’s recent study on development fees.

Here are five key points in the extensive piece by Steven Yoder:

  • The Housing Crisis is Deepening

Truckee-North Tahoe’s housing crisis is increasingly dire. The region needs more than 12,000 more housing units to meet housing needs, and more than half of the region’s residents pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing.

  • Truckee’s Fee Policy is Adapting to Meet the Challenge

The Town of Truckee’s recent decision to offer fee deferrals for workforce housing projects could have a real impact on new workforce housing projects. The Mountain Housing Council estimated that fee deferrals on a 77-unit multifamily housing project could save a developer between $171,000 and $287,000.

  • Sacramento’s Fee Waiver is Having a Direct Impact on Housing Affordability

Sacramento’s elimination of development fees for affordable housing projects will make Habitat for Humanity’s homes up to $12,000 cheaper and allow the non-profit to more than double the number of affordable homes it builds in the Sacramento region.

  • California’s Fees Far Outpace the Rest of the Nation

California’s development impact fees are more than three times the national average and have consistently increased while the rest of the nation’s fee rates have declined.

  • Development Fee Changes Send an Important Signal to Developers

One important role of restructured fees is “signaling” — indicating to developers that you welcome investment in solutions to the housing crisis.

“{Fees are a symbol of sort of ‘do you want us to come?’ and ‘Are you working with us or are you working against us?’ said Seana Doherty, Mountain Housing Council Program Director.

Read the entire Comstock’s Magazine article here.


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