Density Bonus

State Density Bonus Law (SDBL) and the City of Hayward Density Bonus Ordinance (DBO) allows developers to build more residential units than the maximum density allows in order to incentivize the construction of  housing affordable to very-low income, low-income, senior, and other qualifying households. SBDL allows “concessions or incentives” and “waivers” to qualifying projects in addition to a density bonus. The City of Hayward DBO adds an additional density bonus and “incentives and concessions” for certain housing types. For more information about Hayward’s Density Bonus, check out the Hayward Density Bonus Guide.

What projects are eligible for a Density Bonus?

Any housing development that proposes five or more units and incorporates at least one of the following is eligible for a density bonus:

  • 10% of units for foster youth housing
  • 10% of units for disabled veterans housing
  • 10% of units for projects for unhoused people
  • 20% of units restricted for low-income full time college students
  • Senior citizen housing developments
  • Mobile home parks age restricted to senior citizens (55 and older per Public Law 104-76)
  • At least 10% of housing units in for-sale development are restricted for moderate income households
  • At least 10% rental units restricted to low-income households
  • At least 5% of rental units restricted to very low-income households

Please refer to Government Code Section 65915 (as it may be modified from time to time) for additional details on eligibility requirements.

What are “concessions or incentives” and “waivers”?

Concessions or incentives, as defined under SBDL, allow a developer to deviate from development standards or regulations that would provide “identifiable and actual cost reductions” to provide for affordable housing costs.

Waivers are another form of assistance under SDBL, separate from concessions and incentives. A waiver is a reduction in development standards or regulations that would make the construction of the project physically infeasible, if not approved.

Waivers, concessions, and incentives may not be used to waive requirements that would cause a specific adverse impact on public health or safety and cannot be mitigated, would have an adverse impact on property listed on the California historical register, or would violate state or federal law.

What is the process for an application with a Density Bonus?

Please see the flow chart below to see the project for an application with a Density Bonus.

How does this program relate to the City of Hayward Affordable Housing Ordinance?

Affordable units created from application of the density bonus can also be used to comply with the Affordable Housing Ordinance. In the event the requirements are different, the stricter of the two requirements will apply.