The ordinance would require developers to reserve 15% of the units in new rental projects for low- and moderate-income renters, Forbes said. Of those units, 5% must be available to low-income renters with annual incomes not exceeding 80% of the median family income for Los Angeles County. In 2005, the median family income for the county was $54,540, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report said.
The remaining 10% of that affordable housing must be afforded to "very low" income renters, whose yearly income is 50% or less than the median family income.
Developers would also be required to devote 15% of their projects to affordable housing, Forbes said. That percentage could include both low-income buyers and "moderate"-income buyers, whose annual income can be up to 120% of the family median, depending on the household size, a staff report said.
The second ordinance would incorporate a state density bonus law into city code. The law allows developers to increase the number of units within a project in exchange for making a certain percentage available for affordable housing, said Greg Herrmann, assistant community development director.
Builders who take advantage of the incentive could see a density increase from 5% to 30%.
Adopting this state law would give the city power to decide how to dole out incentives and how those incentives are processed, Forbes said.
Though the new ordinances, if ultimately adopted, would not affect developers who have already submitted a development review application to the city, new projects would see higher construction fees, Forbes said.
"This is definitely an added cost to developers," she said. "When cities adopt inclusionary housing laws, they understand it's a cost to developers. So they usually offer incentives to developers."
Allowing developers to reduce the 150 feet of open space required per unit in a housing facility to accommodate additional units would be one type of incentive the city could offer, Forbes said.
Councilman David Gordon questioned the impact of the proposed ordinances, saying the strategy would "change irrevocably the character of our community."
But Mayor Jef Vander Borght said action on the ordinances was needed soon.
The council's vote was 4-1, with Gordon dissenting.
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