Congress Investigates the Cost Burden of Regulations on Building
The regulatory costs investigated in the study include a broad range of fees, standards, and other requirements imposed at different stages of the development and construction process. According to the study, 7% of regulatory costs come from building-code changes over the past 10 years, 5.9% is attributable to development requirements (such as streets, sidewalks, parking, landscaping, and architectural design) that go beyond what the developer would ordinarily provide, and 4.2% of the costs come from nonrefundable fees charged when site work begins.
Over 90% of developers surveyed in the research typically incur hard costs of paying fees to local jurisdictions, both when applying for zoning approval and again when local jurisdictions authorize the construction of buildings. The typical projects of almost all the respondents (98%) were subject to costs at the zoning-approval stage, costing an average 4.1% of the total development costs.
The report was the catalyst for the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance in October to hold a hearing on regulatory burdens on multifamily housing development. The research shows that well over 90% of multifamily developers typically incur hard costs of fees paid to local governments, both when applying for zoning approval and again when local jurisdictions authorize the construction of buildings. Furthermore, state and federal governments are increasingly involved in the process and layering on additional levels of fees and regulations.