Berkeley to consider prioritizing affordable housing projects during housing development process

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Deborah Chen/Staff

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An ordinance to automatically provide expedited review and priority status to affordable-housing projects will be considered by Berkeley City Council at its regular meeting Tuesday.

The council will examine expediting the process for key affordable-housing developments that are funded by the city of Berkeley’s Housing Trust Fund. The current process for housing developments includes a series of approvals, permits and inspections, often resulting in delays that prohibit these housing projects from moving forward.

The proposed ordinance will allow affordable-housing projects to automatically have priority when waiting for permits and approval, advancing affordable-housing timelines for developers.

Currently, the meeting agenda states that by the city of Berkeley’s Housing Trust Fund guidelines, the city will fund an affordable-housing project if 60 percent of its units are low-income housing units. In addition, the city manager is allowed to prioritize permits for housing projects if at least 25 percent of the units have low- and moderate-income pricing.

Gibson Chu is the lead city government reporter. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @thegibsonchu.