On April 5th, City Council will discuss a Workforce Housing Plan put forth by me, Councilmember Capitelli, and Councilmember Moore. This Plan allows for more affordable units for those earning between 80% area median income (AMI) and 120% AMI and provides an option to bolster the creation of workforce housing by simultaneously allowing more subsidized units to be built at a reduced subsidy per unit.
Read the full Plan here.
Currently, Berkeley’s inclusionary housing law requires developers to build one low-income unit (up to 80% Area Median Income) for every 10 market rate units built. While Berkeley must continue to build additional low-income units, the City needs to build more median and moderate income units, neither of which are incentivized under current City policy. Currently, Berkeley is only building 3% of its middle income housing (ABAG, 2014). This Plan allows for–but does not require–greater flexibility in the creation of a variety of housing for low, median, and moderate income earners. It would result in the creation of a broader range of affordable units and increase the amount of affordable units available.
To get a better sense of who qualifies for median and moderate income housing, here are a few examples: A median income household (100% AMI) could be 2 library aides and their child, or a firefighter with two children. A moderate income household (120% AMI) could include two teachers, or two janitors with children. It’s imperative that as we accommodate both low-income households, and these workforce households as well.