Cheap homes may be required by law

Developers with Daly City projects could soon be required to provide below-market-priced housing so residents formerly priced out of the market can stay in the Peninsula’s largest city.

Daly City has released a draft of an affordable housing ordinance that would require, if approved, private developers to include a certain amount of units priced so regular Joes can afford them, a prospect some have said could scare away developers.

The proposed ordinance applies to all new rental and ownership residential developments of five or more units in all areas of the city, except within the tworedevelopment areas in the Bayshore Community and along Mission Street and Junipero Serra Boulevard.

The redevelopment areas already require firms to make 15 percent of the units they build available at below-market prices. Currently, there are no proposed developments outside of the two redevelopment areas that this ordinance would affect.

The draft ordinance would require rental developments to offer 20 percent of their units at a price deemed affordable to someone earning 60 percent of the area median income, which for a family of four right now is $95,000, according to the San Mateo County Housing Authority.

The developer could offer only 10 percent at below-market rates if they were affordable to households at 50 percent of the median income.

If the units are for sale, then 20 percent of the total units in the development must be priced for households at the median income, or 10 percent of the units will be affordable to households at 60 percent, according to the draft.

If someone buys an affordable unit, he or she can sell it under conditions similar to those it was bought under, allowing a profit on the purchase, said Terry Sedik, Daly City economic development director.

Wilson de Ocera, pastor of the United Methodist Church in Daly City, welcomed the draft and looked forward to the civic discussion about it. Two years ago, he had 210 people in his church. That has dwindled to 169 today, he said, because people have moved away due to housing costs. “There are a lot of people that were originally from Daly City and even their own children cannot afford to stay here anymore,” de Ocera said.

There will be a public hearing on the ordinance Sept. 10. The ordinance can be downloaded from the city’s Web site.

dsmith@examiner.com

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