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L.A. City Council Approves Affordable Housing Linkage Fee

Linkage Fee supporters holding up AFFORDABLE HOUSING NOW signage in council chambers today. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

In a unanimous 14-0 vote this afternoon, the Los Angeles City Council approved its Affordable Housing Linkage Fee. The approval was cheered by hundreds of affordable housing advocates assembled at city hall council chambers.

The way the linkage fee works is that new market rate development will pay into the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Different types of development in different parts of the city pay tiered amounts. The linkage fee is expected to raise $100 million annually, resulting in an estimated 1,500 affordable housing units each year.

The linkage fee made it through contentious hearings at the council's Planning (PLUM) Committee in June, August and October. Those hearings resulted in several amendments, including exempting new hospitals. Under the leadership of Councilmembers José Huizar and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, the linkage fee plan emerged largely intact.

A new amendment was proposed today by councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Koretz, and David Ryu, who represent the city's strongest markets for development. The amendment would increase the fee from $15 to $18 per square foot in the city's high market areas. This increased fee proposal is pending future approval by committee/s and council.

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