Linkage Fees Do Nothing for Affordable Housing

B-Daddy B-Daddy 3 Comments


The need for a Republican mayor to veto leftist nonsense was on display Monday, when the San Diego city council passed whopping increases in the “linkage fees” on new development that ranges from 377% to 744%.  The fees are supposed to help provide affordable housing when new development results in low paying jobs.  Don’t ask me how creating jobs makes people less able to afford housing.  Example, Joe didn’t have a job.  A developer creates a new business.  Joe gets a job.  Joe may still not be able to afford a swanky La Jolla condo, but he is certainly in better shape than when he didn’t have a job.

At a time when our local economy is still not in great shape the Democrats on the city council don’t seem to care.  Consider this quote from a Democrat mayoral candidate:

“If you don’t want to pay the fee … don’t create low-paying jobs,” lectured Councilman David Alvarez.

Don’t create jobs?  Is that really Alvarez’ message?  With the minimum wage set to rise again, I would think that Democrats would be in favor of any new jobs.  But since the minimum wage also puts some people out of work, I guess the Democrats prefer folks on welfare.  Actions like increasing minimum wage and discouraging development are a great way to keep people on the bottom rung of the economy from getting jobs. It was good to see Kevin Faulconer opposing this bill.

Meanwhile, the fees do nothing to deliver affordable housing.

. . . both sides agreed that the fee increase does little to fill a large affordable housing void in San Diego. The city has a waiting list of about 45,000 people for affordable housing, but has lost $34 million per year due to the elimination of redevelopment agencies and federal and state budget cuts. The current linkage fee generates about $2.2 million per year.

What makes housing unaffordable are a combination of bad federal and local policies.  Various federal policies caused a bubble in the housing market and the there are still efforts to prop up prices.  If we want the poor to be able to have housing, why make it more expensive?  At the local level, limits on density and new housing development limits the supply of housing, driving up prices by depressing the stock of available housing.  City government will never have enough money to supply affordable housing, only the private sector can do so, and only with a profit motive.

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What You Should Be Reading

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Comments 3

  1. How many votes does Faulconer need to win 50 + 1%? I was hoping the local Republican party would send out a letter letting voters know that we have a rare opportunity to have our vote actually count by supporting the Republican candidate.

    They turned off a lot of voters last year with the “someone in your household hasn’t voted in years”. It was insulting and just plain stupid. We need a positive, rally-the-troops type letter and get everyone out! Do we have enough votes to make this scenario work?

  2. 50 percent plus one. But, the answer is no. The leading candidate in the primary will be in the thirty percent range, most likely.

  3. Thorette’s assessment is correct. Maybe folks adamantly opposed to Fletcher should be voting (or perhaps should HAVE voted) for Alvarez!

    Frankly, if I were not voting for Faulconer, my second choice would be Mike Aguirre. Sometimes a loose cannon with some good ideas is superior to a bought-and-paid-for labor union sycophant.

    Say what you will about Mike, he’s no union stooge. Just ask the unions!!

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