Affordable Housing Ordinance

Frequently  Asked Questions

Yes, if your building permit(s) for a newly constructed residential unit will be issued after March 26, 2014. The AHO includes a fee equal to $2.58 (amount adjusted annually every Marc​h 1) per habitable square foot of each market rate unit.

Yes, the following development types are exempt from the AHO obligation: 

  • Regulated, affordable housing units
  • Accessory dwelling units
  • Remodel or enlargement of a dwelling unit
  • Restoration of a unit which has been damaged or partially destroyed due to fire, flood or earthquake
  • Conversion of nonresidential buildings to residential use
  • Mobile home parks
  • Mixed income developments at a density of 17 units per acre or more and where 20 percent of the units are affordable to low income renters or buyers. Affordable units shall have a regulatory agreement recorded and monitored by SHRA
  • And Single-family homes built by an owner-builder on his/her property provided that the home is not intended for sale within two years, and the owner personally performs the work or directly hires a contractor to complete the project. ​Note: If you are selecting this option, additional paperwork is needed. Contact a planner at the Building Assistance Center for more information.

Sacramento County’s General Plan contains a Housing Element, which was adopted on October 8, 2013, that per California State Law identifies programs that facilitate the provision of housing for low-income households. 

The Affordable Housing Ordinance is one of the tools that Sacramento County utilizes to support the development of affordable housing. The fees that will be collected will be used to construct affordable housing units.

The AHO requires that you pick one of the following compliance options. If you are applying for a building permit, you will pay a fee pursuant to A below, unless a prior entitlement approved by the County requires another compliance method – check your conditions of approval. 

You may also choose options B, C or D. These options are more likely to be chosen if you are applying for a planning entitlement (i.e. subdivision map or use permit). The affordability fee option is the most likely option for most residential building permits: 

A. Pay an affordability fee on all new market rate units equal to $2.58 (note this fee is adjusted annually every year on March 1) per habitable square foot (conditioned space) of each market rate unit calculated​ at the issuance of the building permit.

B. Enter into a development agreement with the County for a fee credit for land dedication, construction of affordable housing units, or other mechanisms that will lead to production of affordable units during the entitlement process for your residential project 

    • ​Dedicated land must be a site that is approved and accepted by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) pursuant to future AHO Implementation Guidelines 
    • Affordable units constructed must have regulatory agreements recorded and monitored by SHRA 
​​C. Purchase credits for affordable housing units banked with SHRA. For more information on this option, including the price for the credits, contact SHRA as listed herein. 

D. Comply with Existing Affordable Housing Plan approved at the time planning entitlement was approved. If the approved affordable housing plan consists of a fee, then the fee would be set by program guidelines.​

Yes, residential developers may comply with the AHO by either utilizing their previously approved affordable housing plan or choosing from the options under the new AHO.

County of Sacramento, Department of Community Development, Planning and Environmental Review Division 
827 7th Street, Room 225, (916) 874-6141 

Housing Element Project Manager Tim Kohaya, Associate Planner 874-5982 

Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA), Development Finance Department
801 12th Street, (916) 440-1393