HIP Tool: Fee Waivers or Reductions

Costs associated with the development process, such as impact fees and building permit fees, can be reduced or eliminated to encourage selected types of development. For example, jurisdictions may enact measures to reduce or waive such fees for projects that include a percentage or number of affordable housing units.


Since impact or mitigation fees can increase the upfront construction cost of affordable housing, some jurisdictions have enacted measures to reduce, waive, or defer such fees for projects that include affordable housing units. To reduce barriers to affordable housing, the Growth Management Act (RCW 82.02.060) grants cities authority to exempt low-income housing and other projects with public benefit from impact fees. Jurisdictions can also reduce or waive other development fees, like permitting and planning costs, for projects that include affordable housing units.

To implement, jurisdictions should review all current development fees to determine where reductions and/or waivers for affordable housing projects may be appropriate.

Tool Profile

Focus Areas

  • Urban Centers
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Expensive Housing Markets
  • Innovative Single Family Techniques

Project Types

  • Single Family
  • Multifamily
  • Ownership
  • Rental
  • Market Rate
  • Subsidized

Affordability Level

  • 80% to 120% AMI
  • Less than 80% AMI

Housing Goal

  • Affordability