Fullerton city leaders voted 3 to 2 last week to direct staff to study the feasibility of an inclusionary housing mandate. Under such a policy, developers would have to set aside a percentage of their product for affordable housing.
Councilmembers Bruce Whitaker and Nick Dunlap voted against the proposal. Whitaker argued that such a heavy-handed approach could inadvertently discourage development and drive up the cost of rent.
A number of cities in Orange County have already adopted similar inclusionary housing mandates. These include the cities of San Clemente, Santa Ana, Brea, Huntington Beach and Irvine. Dunlap said cities like Santa Ana are hardly a model to follow on housing.
Fullerton is stuck between a rock and a hard place. The city must zone for 13,209 new homes by 2029. Of those, 5,187 must be for low-income or very low-income families. Fullerton, like other cities in the county, tried to appeal those numbers but was denied.
Fullerton, which has a poverty rate of approximately 13%, has struggled to meet affordable housing mandates for some time. As detailed by the Kennedy Commission, the city failed to meet housing goals during the last cycle.
Read more at Voice of OC.