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Density Bonus

Developers building five or more dwelling units in the City of San Diego (City) may be eligible for an increase in development density in exchange for setting aside a percentage of the units as affordable housing.

The purpose of the City’s Density Bonus regulations is to provide incentives for developments that provide housing for very low-, low- and moderate-income households, as well as senior households, transitional age foster youth, disabled Veterans, or homeless San Diegans.

On March 6, 2018, the San Diego City Council approved changes to the Density Bonus program, as proposed by Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer in his Housing SD plan. These changes include:

  • Offering 10 percent density bonus for developments that do not go beyond the maximum permitted building footprint.
  • Allowing developers to be eligible for an incentive or a waiver even if they don’t request a density bonus.
  • Allowing for 100 percent density bonus for micro-unit production for developments that do not go beyond the permitted building footprint.

Properties that currently contain or within the last five years have contained dwelling units with rent restrictions for low- or very-low-income tenants also may qualify for a density bonus if:

  • The property provides affordable units at percentages specified in the City’s Municipal Code, or
  • All of the units, except manager’s units, are affordable to very low- and low-income households.

For more information, contact Genevieve Hernandez at or 619-578-7588.


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