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Housing Impact Fee

The City of San Diego’s (City) Housing Impact Fee, also known as a commercial linkage fee, is charged to commercial developments to help finance affordable housing for low-income workers whose jobs were created by commercial, industrial or retail development.

The Housing Impact Fee is calculated by the City’s Facilities Financing Department, collected by the City’s Development Services Department, and deposited into the City’s Affordable Housing Fund. The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) administers the Affordable Housing Fund, which helps to meet the housing needs of the City’s very low-, low-, and median-income households.

The fee charged per square foot and building type is specified in the San Diego Municipal Code.

The Housing Impact Fee was established in 1990 after a Nexus Study commissioned by the San Diego City Council in 1989 concluded that commercial development creates jobs that warrant the need for additional affordable housing due to employment growth.

The Nexus Studies have been updated multiple times since then.

In March 2013, SDHC contracted with Keyser Marston Associates Inc. to update the Nexus Study. The update was completed in August 2013.

The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 on November 10, 2014, to adopt amendments to the Housing Impact Fee Ordinance.

The amendments, introduced to the City Council on October 21, 2014, reflected a compromise proposal presented by Councilmember Myrtle Cole regarding the Housing Impact Fee Ordinance. A Memorandum of Understanding negotiated by SDHC and the Jobs Coalition became the foundation of the compromise proposal.

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