STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS W.Va. Code § 7-20-7a contains the mandate for an affordable housing component and provides factors that should be addressed in an affordable housing fee schedule.
STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS 1) The affordable housing component must include a discounted impact fees schedule, based upon the new homes value compared to the most recent annual single dwelling residential housing index created by the State Tax Commissioner.
STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS 2) Take into account all the different types of hosing, including single family detached, single family attached, duplex, town house, apartment, condominium, and manufactured home.
STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS 3) Include a discount for mobile homes as defined in W.Va. Code § 17A-1-1 based upon the values set out in the National Automobile Dealers Associations Handbook.
STATUTORY PROBLEMS The statute contains several obstacles that will pose a challenge for successful implementation of an affordable housing component that addresses all the legislative requirements.
STATUTORY PROBLEMS Obstacle 1 The first obstacle is the requirement that we implement a discounted fee schedule based upon the new homes value as compared to the average selling prices of homes within the county.
STATUTORY PROBLEMS Obstacle 1 In order to successfully implement an affordable housing component that included the new homes value, an entity applying for a building permit would have to know the selling price of the structure before building had even commenced on the structure.
STATUTORY PROBLEMS Obstacle 1 Additionally, the Commission would have to hire more staff to track the actual selling price to determine if the structure was eligible for an affordable housing discount.
STATUTORY PROBLEMS Obstacle 2 The second problem with the legislation is that it essentially defines a mobile home as any structure that was built prior to 1974 and requires a discount only for mobile homes that were built prior to that year.
STATUTORY PROBLEMS Obstacle 2 It is unlikely that any mobile home constructed prior to 1974 would be moving into the county as a new dwelling and be required to pay an impact fee. As such, this requirement is useless as means of providing affordable housing.
STATUTORY PROBLEMS Obstacle 3 As with any discount provided in the impact fee schedule the Commission would be required to offset any deficit in collection so that the level of service is maintained.
STATUTORY PROBLEMS Obstacle 3 Other sections of the Local Powers Act recognize that the Commission is responsible for accounting for any discount provided. W. Va. Code § 7-20-7. When the Legislature added the affordable housing section, it did not address any funding deficits caused by the required discounted schedule, creating a conflict between the two sections.
SOLUTIONS Obstacle 1 and Statutory Requirement 1 To address the requirement of the housing index, language was added to the local ordinance to indicate that smaller homes, townhomes, apartments, and manufactured homes are more affordable and cost less than the average selling price of a home in Jefferson County according to the Tischler Bise Study and the Index prepared by the Tax Commissioner.
AVERAGE SELLING PRICE Tax Commissioner Housing Index
SOLUTIONS Obstacle 1 and Statutory Requirement 1 Adopting a tiered fee schedule based upon housing type would result in those dwellings that cost less than the average dwelling unit in the county as determined by the index prepared by the Tax Commissioner and would satisfy the first statutory requirement that the fee schedule be based upon the new homes value as compared to residential housing index.
SOLUTIONS Tiered Approach The most recent Tischler Bise study indicates that larger housing and single family detached homes contribute more students and as such, have more of an impact on the school system This finding reflects a change from prior studies This finding also allows the Commission to implement a progressive fee schedule based upon square footage, resulting in a lower fee for smaller homes
SOLUTIONS Obstacle 1 and Statutory Requirement 2 Adopting the tiered approach also satisfies the second statutory requirement that the fee schedule take into account different types of housing.
SOLUTIONS Obstacle 2 and Statutory Requirement 3 The Commission could simply grant a waiver of the impact fee to any mobile home constructed prior to 1974 as it is unlikely that the County will receive an application from a mobile home that is 38 years old.
SOLUTIONS Obstacle 3 Using a tiered approach would also avoid any deficit in funding for which the Commission would be required to account because the fees for smaller homes are based upon the impact the home has on the local school system.
SOLUTIONS Alternate Tiered Approach The Commission was presented an alternate fee schedule with significantly lower fees. This schedule did not include the two new schools, Driswood Elementary and Washington High School, in the level of service calculations, resulting in a lower level of service and lower fee.
The County now has a higher level of service as a result of the addition of the two new schools. Impact fees financed that portion of the schools needed to maintain the level of service. Additional money was obtained from the SBA that actually increased the level of service.
SOLUTIONS Alternate Tiered Approach If the County adopts the alternate approach, it would maintain the level of service that was in existence at the time the fees were implemented, resulting in a funding deficit if the County wishes to maintain the current level of service. The Commission would not be required to account for this deficit because all fee payers would be treated equally.
SOLUTIONS Other Possible Approaches The Commission could address affordable housing in any number of other ways. The current information presented to the Commission was designed to meet the minimum statutory requirements.
SOLUTIONS Other Possible Approaches The Commission could implement a waiver system or discounted impact fee schedule, using the affordable housing committee as a resource. However, if the Commission adopts a discounted fee schedule for some and not all fee payers, the deficit must be accounted for so that the level of service is maintained.