This week, the Gresham City Council adopted a streamlined and largely revenue-neutral building fee schedule. In a letter of support, HBA recognized the critical role that residential permit fees play in safety, quality assurance, and bolstering Gresham’s electronic plan review platform, which has become all the more essential during the current pandemic. While commending the city’s simplified permit fee schedule, HBA also recommended two additional system development charge (SDC) administrative reforms that can reduce housing costs while ensuring the city can collect needed infrastructure dollars associated with new growth capacity. Given construction soft costs are passed on to homebuyers - whose wages have not kept pace with home prices - increasing SDC certainty reduces housing costs. Since Gresham reinstated its development stakeholder meetings in 2020, HBA has built upon ongoing SDC reform conversations with city council and staff while advocating for a balanced approach to building permit fees. HBA thanks Gresham for adopting a simplified fee schedule designed to foster economic viability over the long term while ensuring builders are not unduly burdened in a time of economic strain. To learn more about HBA’s involvement in Gresham, contact Roseann Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.