Richmond To Discuss Housing Nexus Study Findings
The Richmond City Council will hold a workshop on Feb. 27, 2018, to discuss the findings of its July 2016 residential and non-residential affordable housing nexus studies and an economic feasibility analysis prepared by Keyser Marston. Back in 2014, over BIA’s strong objections about its dubious legality, MTC approved spending federal transportation dollars on the nexus studies. At this study session, staff is asking the council for direction on a variety of policies including whether or not to pursue a commercial linkage fee, adjust the inclusionary percentages, mandate construction of affordable units rather than payment of an in-lieu fee and offer density bonus incentives to developers who provide affordable housing. Much like other cities have done following adoption of a new law in January, Richmond is also expected to include rental developments in its inclusionary ordinance as part of its ordinance update process. Richmond currently requires for-sale residential developers to set aside between 17 percent to 10 percent of units as affordable depending on income category or pay an $8 per sq. ft. in-lieu fee. The Keyser Marston nexus study concludes that the city could legally justify charging up to $13.20 per sq.ft. for a single-family house and $15.20 for a townhome. The KMA economic feasibility analysis found that a fee of $10 to $15 per sq. ft. could be supported only in the higher value areas of town. “In the lower value areas of the city, (the) financial feasibility of projects is challenging even without a housing fee,” the consultants wrote. As a result, staff is suggesting the city consider establishing inclusionary housing zones where the requirements would be more expensive in the higher value areas. Click here to view the staff agenda, nexus studies and feasibility report. For questions or comments, contact BIA’s Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-348-1956 or firstname.lastname@example.org.