Mill Valley Considers New Affordable Housing Ordinance

Kimberly Heaton

On July 17th, the Mill Valley City Council introduced an affordable housing ordinance that would establish an impact fee on new residential projects, as well as renovation projects valued at $100,000 or more, in order to raise money for an Affordable Housing Trust Fund.  KMA was an advisor to the City and prepared a Residential Nexus Analysis to quantify the relationship between market-rate residential development and the demand for affordable housing.  The nexus study establishes the technical basis for establishing an affordable housing impact fee.  

The intent of the ordinance is to ensure all residential development projects fairly contribute to the city's housing goals. The proposed fee would equal 1.5% of the project's valuation, and would apply to new single family homes and condominiums as well as new multi-family rental projects; additionally multi-family ownership developments that are at least four units would be required to make 25% of the units affordable to households in a moderate or low-income bracket.  City planners estimate the fee would generate more than $500,000 annually.

Mill Valley Mayor Jessica Sloan stated that "affordable housing is the biggest issue our community is facing and this is a huge victory for our town.  I'm excited about the potential of what we can do with this money and in the future I want to continue to explore funding sources to see what other revenue streams from the City budget are possible to increase the funding for affordable housing in Mill Valley."