Expedited permitting reduces development costs associated with delays in permit processing. These costs are usually passed on to the renter. In Miami-Dade County, regulatory delay can lead to a tenant paying roughly $500 more in rental costs per year. Moreover, a recent set of interviews with various private and non-profit Miami-area developers, including affordable housing developers, found almost unanimous agreement that the local permitting process was too lengthy. Various municipalities offer expedited permitting as an incentive to encourage the development of affordable housing.
Montgomery County, Maryland’s Green Tape Program provides expedited permitting for residential or mixed-use developments that set aside at least 20% of the total number of units for affordable housing.
Pinellas County, Florida provides affordable housing developments priority in the permitting review process, with a two-week turnaround time.
Pinellas County Land Development Code
Sec. 138-1346. - Affordable Housing.
B) Incentives. The following incentives may be made available to encourage the provision of affordable housing:
(1) Expedited permit processing. The county administrator shall provide a review process which gives Affordable Housing Development's priority in the permit review process. A two-week turn-around time shall be the desired goal for the processing of a site plan for such development. To assist in achieving this goal a pre-application meeting will be required between the applicant and county site plan review staff. The development review administrator will serve as an ombudsman to assist the applicant in achieving an expeditious review.
Review existing expedited permitting processes for affordable housing to ensure efficiency: Miami’s localities that provide expedited permitting for State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program-financed projects could have existing processes reviewed, monitored, and regularly reported on to ensure that the permitting and review procedures are efficient and timely.
Establish expedited permitting for affordable multifamily rental housing: Miami’s jurisdictions could provide affordable multifamily developments expedited permitting with set time targets.
Strengthen voluntary inclusionary zoning programs with expedited permitting: Expedited permitting could also be added to existing programs that currently offer density/intensity bonuses like Miami-Dade County’s voluntary Workforce Housing Development program as an additional incentive to encourage new affordable housing opportunities.