In a move akin to throwing everything but the kitchen sink at a problem, the Berkeley City Council has more than a dozen items on its Tuesday night agenda billed as solutions to the affordable housing crisis. The list includes hiking the city’s affordable housing in-lieu fee from $28,000 per unit to $34,000 per unit and doubling the required percentage of inclusionary units from 10 percent to 20 percent. Predictably, few of the options would actually increase the housing supply and, as a consequence, actually ease the affordability crisis. But there are a few promising exceptions. Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates proposes the city allow an additional 15 percent density bonus — above the current 35 percent allowed by state law -- for multi-family developments. The mayor also seeks to establish a new entitlement process for properties located within the city’s Planned Development Areas, or PDAs, that grants by-right approvals to multi-family developments. Click here
to link to the Berkeley City Council agenda packet for April 5, 2016.