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Making new housing affordable, Manteca-style
north main housing
The buyers of these homes on Dorona Lane in north Manteca would have had to pay $31,106 more for their new homes if a proposed inclusionary affordable housing fee were in place at the time they made their purchase.

The price of one of the least expensive new homes available today  in Manteca would jump $31,106 if the maximum proposed fee designed to promote affordable housing was in place.

That’s the bottom line of an inclusionary housing fee analysis the Manteca Planning Commission will review at a workshop set for tonight at 6 o’clock at the City Council chambers, 1001 W. Center St.

The $31,106 fee would be added on to the base price of $557,990 for a 1,845 square-foot home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms being offered to buyers at 1486 Dorona Lane.

It’s part of the new North Main Commons neighborhood now under construction on the southeast corner of North Main Street and Northgate Drive.

The fee is based on the square footage of homes and multiple family projects that are built.

It is designed to generate money to somehow provide affordable housing  for very low-income , low-income and moderate income households in Manteca.

Those income levels are defined on a sliding scale based on the size of a household using the annual area median income  (AIM) .

For a family of four the current AIM annual income for Manteca-Lathrop-Tracy-Mountain House-Ripon  is $75,000. The four other nearby communities likely have somewhat higher annual median incomes based strictly on the incomes needed to buy new houses in those new communities

Based on the $75,000 AIM, it means housing such a fee would fund through programs the city would put in place either with non-profits or incentives for the private sector building  new homes would reflect annual incomes for households of four people as follows:

*$37,500 for very low income households that can afford a maximum monthly rent of $937.50 or a maximum home purchase of $129,280.

*$60,000 for moderate-income households that can afford a maximum monthly rent of $1,500 and a maximum home purchase of $217,630.

*$90,000 for moderate income households that can afford a maximum monthly rent of $2,430 and a maximum purchase price of $328,120.

The annual incomes taken from a chart that is part of the study the city commissioned reflect the maximum level that a buyer or renter the city might assist could make to qualify for the various assistance scenarios.

The analysis contends a maximum fee of $16.86 per square foot for a single family home and $21.08 per square foot for an apartment complex is justified in Manteca.

The translates, based on the study, to a maximum justifiable fee of:

* $16.5 million for a typical 404 home subdivision.

*$40,920 for a 2,427 square foot house.

*$2.898,420 for a 148-unit at-market multi-family development such as an apartment complex.

*$19,584 for an apartment that is built with 929 square feet.

The analysis offers four scenarios the city could consider implementing.

Using a single family home those scenarios reflect:

*$16.86 per square foot for a 100 percent maximum fee.

*$8.44 per square foot for 50 percent of the maximum fee.

*$4.21 per square foot for 25 percent of the maximum fee.

*$1.69 per square foot for 10 percent fo the maximum fee.

Practically speaking, anything less than a 100 percent fee wouldn’t allow the city to do much of anything given inflation and rising construction and land costs.

And without maximum fees, the account for affordable housing could accumulate money for years as have some other of the city’s growth fee-related accounts without anything being  done. Meanwhile inflation, market forces, and the cost of construction is likely to eat away at whatever money the city has squirreled away.

An inclusionary housing fee is only one “tool” the city could employ to create more affordable housing opportunities.

Others include:

*Increasing the average housing density from 8 homes to 10 homes per acre.

*Requiring a set percentage of homes built to have smaller footprints of around 1,100 to 1,200 square feet as opposed to the 1,600 to 3,600 square foot tract homes that are now being built.

*Providing incentives for builders willing to develop entire neighborhoods aimed at the Northern San Joaquin Valley market as opposed to the Bay Area market.

*Devising requirements that at-market apartment complexes that are being built have a higher percentage of smaller units.

*Encouraging new tract homes to be built with smaller secondary units often called granny flats that could be rented.

*Requiring or incentivizing the building of some homes with secondary master-suites with small kitchenettes that would have separate exterior entrances.

It is clear homes being built in Manteca serve as the affordable housing solution for Bay Area communities where  families are being squeezed out of the housing market west of the Altamont Pass.

The council, when they asked for the study to be done of a possible affordable housing fee on new growth, indicated they were searching for a solution that would make rental and possibly owner occupied housing within the reach of those that work in Manteca and nearby cities that often do not get paid as much as those with Bay Area jobs.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email