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The cost of building new housing in California is too damn high. And one reason is all the pricey development fees layered on new apartments, single-family homes and even affordable housing projects.
Cities throughout the state collect an assortment of fees from builders to raise money for such things as parks, schools, public art, affordable housing, transportation, environmental protection, fire and police service and city facilities such as libraries and sewer systems. These “impact fees” are designed to help cities offset the costs of serving the residents who will move into the new homes.
But all those fees add up. In Los Angeles, impact fees cost almost $14,000 per unit for apartments and condominium projects and $11,000 for single-family homes. In Irvine, the same fees are $22,000 and $16,000, respectively. The Bay Area suburb of Fremont charges fees that add up to $22,000 per apartment and a whopping $35,000 for a single-family house. That’s according to a report commissioned by state lawmakers and prepared by the UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation.
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