What is an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance?
An Inclusionary Housing Ordinance is a policy document that requires developers to build a percentage of units in a market-rate project as affordable to lower income households. In some cases, developers may choose menu options to satisfy affordable housing requirements, such as payment of an in-lieu fee, or donating land, as an alternative to providing on-site affordable housing.
City of Irvine Inclusionary Housing Ordinance
In 2003, the City of Irvine adopted an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, contained in Chapter 2-3. Affordable Housing Implementation Procedures of the Irvine Zoning Ordinance to require affordability of units at various income levels in new construction of market-rate residential properties. Additionally, Chapter 2-3 provides developers with options to meet these requirements, such as preservation of existing affordable housing, land donations for the development of affordable housing, and fees paid in lieu of providing affordable housing. The in-lieu fee, as well as the formula to calculate that fee, was also adopted in 2003. For residential development projects permitted to utilize the fee option, the City collects in-lieu fees and directs those fees toward the development of affordable units at alternative sites. The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance also outlines how developers can utilize State Density Bonus Law for residential development.
Affordable Housing Requirement/In-Lieu Fee Update Feasibility Study
After conducting a feasibility study by Harris & Associates, which is linked below, City staff is recommending the following key updates to the Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 2-3:
- Increase Affordable Housing Requirement from 15% to 20%
- Increase term of affordability for new construction from 30 years to 55 years
- Increase term of affordability for preservation from 40 years to 55 years.
- Update the In Lieu Fee methodology to be based on the affordability gap.
Staff will also recommend an updating and re-organization of Chapter 2-3 to reflect changes in law and to consolidate related information.
How You Can Get Involved
The current schedule to present these items to Planning Commission and City Council is as follows:
Planning Commission Meetings
- July 20, 2023 – Irvine Affordable Housing Needs .
- August 3, 2023 - Affordable Housing Requirement and In Lieu Fee Update Draft Study.
- August 17, 2023 - Consideration of Zoning Ordinance 2-3 Revisions.
- TBD – Planning Commission Consideration of Zoning Ordinance 2-3 Revisions.
City Council Meetings (tentative)
- TBD - City Council Consideration of Zoning Ordinance 2-3 Revisions.