Multifamily Housing Developers

Multifamily housing projects of two or more units are subject to the Affordable Housing Production Program (AHPP), which is codified in Section 9.64 of the Municipal Code. Options for complying with AHPP differ depending on whether the multifamily development involves condominiums or apartments.

Requirements for condominium projects in multifamily zones: 

2 or 3-unit projects: may pay the Affordable Housing Fee instead of dedicating an onsite or offsite unit as affordable housing.

4 to 15-unit projects: must provide onsite or offsite units

  • 20% of the units onsite as moderate-income ownership housing (see table)
  • 20% of the units onsite as low-income rental housing
  • 10% of the units onsite as very low-income rental housing
  • 5% of the units onsite as extremely low-income rental housing
  • if offsite, 25% more units than would have been required onsite

16+ unit projects: must provide onsite or offsite units  

  • 25% of the units onsite as moderate-income ownership housing (see table)
  • 25% of the units onsite as low-income rental housing
  • 15% of the units onsite as very low-income rental housing
  • 10% of the units onsite as extremely low-income rental housing
  • if offsite, 25% more units than would have been required onsite

The affordable housing "Unit Development Cost" applies when a developer provides onsite or offsite affordable units, but the number of required units includes a fraction of a unit where the fraction is less than 0.75 units (see below for more information).

NOTE: Condominium projects not located in multifamily residential zones may pay the Affordable Housing Fee or provide land to the City or nonprofit instead of providing onsite or offsite affordable units.

Requirements for apartment projects in all zones: 

Developer options for satisfying the program:

  • Provide affordable units onsite
  • Provide affordable units offsite
  • Pay the Affordable Housing Fee (and Unit Development Cost if applicable)
  • Provide land to the City or nonprofit for affordable housing


Onsite Option:

  • 5% of the units for extremely low-income households
  • 10% of the units for very low-income households
  • 20% of the units for low-income households
  • 100% of the units for moderate-income households

Units have minimum size requirements and must be 2-bedroom units unless at least 95% of the project is 1-bedroom and/or single units (see Section 9.64.050[E]).

Providing units onsite will automatically qualify the project for a density bonus (discuss with City Planning for details).

The Affordable Housing Unit Development Cost applies when a developer provides onsite or offsite affordable units, but the number of required units includes a fraction of a unit where the fraction is less than 0.75 units (see below for more information).

More details on the onsite option


Offsite Option:

Condominium projects providing affordable units offsite must provide 25% more units than would otherwise be provided onsite. The off-site units shall be located within a .25 mile radius of the market rate units. Additional conditions apply when providing offsite affordable housing – see Section 9.64.060.

More details on the offsite option


Affordable Housing Fee:

$35.70 / square foot for apartments (effective 11/01/18; updated annually)

$41.70 / square foot for condominiums (effective 11/01/18; updated annually)

Fee is due prior to completion of project, but not before building permit issuance, and the amount of fee due is based on fee amount in effect at time of payment. Fee is subject to change by City Council resolution. Fee has been established by resolution pursuant to Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 9.64.070.


Unit Development Cost:

The unit development cost is paid if the developer chooses to provide onsite or offsite affordable units and number of required units includes a fraction of a unit where the fraction is less than 0.75 units.

Per Section 9.64.070(a)(4) of the Santa Monica Municipal Code, if the developer is required to build a fraction of an affordable housing unit where the fraction is smaller than three quarters of a unit, or 0.75 units, the developer will instead pay that fraction times the current per unit cost to the City for building affordable housing.

That cost is calculated and updated annually. The current unit development cost is $356,719, per the City Council meeting dated August 8, 2017.


Land Option:

More details on the Land option

Monitoring Fees (effective November 1, 2018)

All AHPP properties are subject to the below monitoring fees, to be paid to the City of Santa Monica.

  Ownership Rental
Annual Report/Monitoring* $34.02 $153.07
Initial (Sale/Start Up)** $153.07 $192.75
Resale/Re-occupancy*** $136.06 $164.41
*The Annual fee will not be charged in the same year as the Initial (aka "Start Up") fee.
**The Initial fee is only applicable to NEW constructions for both Ownership and Rental.
***Dependent on whether use of SM Housing Division waitlist is necessary for re-occupancy for Rental property.
These fees permitted by City Ordinance and established by City Resolution.

For additional information, please call Jonathan Carr at 310-434-2631 or City Planning at 310-458-8341.

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