Moderate Income Bonus Program Adopted

Last week the San Diego City Council adopted a Moderate Income Bonus Program advocated for by Circulate San Diego. This policy will create new incentives to build mixed income homes near transit.

Due to our advocacy, the program allows developments to receive up to a 75 percent bonus above base density if they dedicate homes for low and moderate income families.

The program was initially proposed by Mayor Faulconer’s administration in 2017 as an incentive to create homes at 150 percent of area median income. The proposal raised some concerns by housing advocates including Circulate San Diego that it would undermine existing incentives to create homes for less affluent households. Circulate was able to secure an amendment to allow the program to “stack” on top of the existing affordable bonus program, which earned our support. Still, those amendments did not mollify all critics, and the policy stalled in committee.

This year Circulate proposed a package of new amendments designed to address the program’s critics. All of those changes were adopted in the Land Use and Housing Committee. Our advocacy successfully un-stuck the policy, and it was adopted unanimously by the City Council. 

This victory is a win for housing at all income levels. It also reflects Circulate’s sustained ability advocate for win-win policies for both affordable and market-rate homes.


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