California Cities, Counties Charge Developers High Fees, Exacerbating Affordable Housing Crisis

This Los Angeles Times article explores the role that California cities and counties play in perpetuating the state’s affordable housing crisis. The Residential Impact Fees in California Study from the Terner Center found that overly burdensome fee programs can limit growth by impeding or disincentivizing new residential development, facilitate exclusion and increase housing costs across the state. State-imposed policies that restrict local taxes, such as Proposition 13, leave municipalities with limited means of raising revenue for infrastructure. In turn, local governments levy fees and exactions on developers to help fund the expansion of infrastructure needed to support new housing like schools, parks and transportation. The report outlines four key aspects of impact fees in California: fee transparency; fee structure; improving fee design and alternative funding options for city infrastructure.