If you grade a negotiation by making your opponent unhappy, this week’s housing fee compromise was a score for both sides.
On one side, business groups that fought off an earlier attempt to hike a fee on commercial development projects by about 500 percent to help pay for subsidized housing projects agreed to stand aside. Under the new deal, the city will increase that fee by a much smaller amount.
In exchange, the subsidized housing industry accepted getting a lot less money than it had hoped for. The deal also potentially includes a series of regulatory changes aimed at making it cheaper to build normal, market-rate homes that the business groups wanted (but subsidized housing builders already wanted those anyway, so it’s hard to count them as much of a concession).
“Nobody’s happy, and I guess that’s what makes it a good compromise,” said Craig Benedetto, the business groups’ lobbyist who successfully forced the City Council to undo its more dramatic hike of the housing fee by collecting enough signatures to put the item to city voters if they didn’t.
“A compromise is an ugly baby,” said Rick Gentry, president of the San Diego Housing Commission, which runs subsidized housing programs for the city. “It’s always got something that’ll displease someone.”
The compromise still requires a City Council vote, and will get its first shot when a Council committee takes it up on July 17. If it goes into effect, it’d be the first time the city successfully increased the fee in 24 years. (That said, it’d also only increase the fee to its level when it was first approved 24 years ago).
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Why not just make it easier to just build houses in the first place. Give out more permits, relax all the inspections and permit fees, and crap that add to the cost of the house. More housing development = lower priced housing without any goofy government "low income housing" programs.
@marque2 So you think land values have nothing to do with the price of housing?
It's all government red tape and the market has nothing to do with it?
And you'd rather not have the government sticking it nose in and telling the people that own the lot next to you house that they can't build a ten story building there, or a strip club, or a waste processing facility?
Yes, by all means lets get rid of government regulation of land use. I'm sure speculation and gouging won't drive prices up. After all, deregulation of financial markets worked so well.