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Stephanie Reyes

Redwood City Adopts New Affordable Housing Policy

We are thrilled to report that on October 26, Redwood City adopted a policy requiring new development to contribute to the creation of affordable homes.

The policy is expected to generate more than $3 million per year for affordable housing construction through fees on new residential and commercial development. Greenbelt Alliance has long called for Redwood City to pass such a policy—including in our 2013 report Fixing the Foundation: Local Solutions for Infill Housing—and we played a key role in ensuring the City adopted a strong policy, including speaking out at public meetings.

Redwood City’s new policy is exciting for several reasons:

  • It sets the required contributions from new development high enough to significantly move the needle on affordable housing while still allowing market-rate development to move forward.
  • It sets a strong model for other cities in San Mateo County to follow.
  • Perhaps most excitingly, the policy creates an incentive for developers to pay construction workers area standard wages.

When new homes and offices are built in our community, those new families and employees require more local goods and services, such as hair salons, child care, and retail. These jobs create a need for affordable housing since too often these workers earn too little to afford market-rate housing in the community. It follows that new developments should contribute to providing affordable homes for the workers who support the people who live and work in those new developments. Redwood City’s new policy follows the lead of other cities in the region, such as Sunnyvale and Mountain View, who recently adopted or increased similar fees.

You can read the details of the new policy here. Congratulations to Redwood City for taking this important step to boost the creation of much-needed affordable homes.


Photo: via Flickr

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