Mixed in

Sacramento officials and affordable-housing advocates are expected to square off next week over a housing plan that could have lasting consequences for the city’s poor. The Sacramento City Council will consider sending an updated housing plan to the state for approval on Tuesday, September 3. Housing advocates worry that the city's mixed-income housing ordinance might be one of the casualties.

In its current form, the 13-year-old ordinance mandates that for some parts of Sacramento, 15 percent of all new housing must be affordable to low-income (making 80 percent of the area median income) and very low-income (50 percent of median) households. According to the Sacramento Housing Alliance, officials plan to expand that mandate citywide (which they like), while adding fee-out options for developers (which they don't).

This is one of the numerous builders vs. housing advocates battles taking place across the region. Developers often feel constrained by these mandates, forced into building projects that often aren't lucrative, while housing advocates maintain that an adequate representation of affordable housing is salient to a community's health. City officials say that while they'd like to stay true to the housing ordinance, Sacramento must also be fiscally reasonable.