Center City Development & Operations Department
Center City Housing Incentive Policy
    NOTE: In December 2017, CCHIP was placed on hold by City Council. Since its inception in 2012, 64 incentive agreements have been executed under the program, which will yield 6,810 new housing units, 28,000 square feet of office space and 230,000 square feet of retail in the greater downtown area. A revised version of the CCHIP program was approved by City Council on December 13, 2018. The program has been redesigned as a tiered system that focuses on density and encourages housing affordability in areas most appropriate for accommodating growth.


The Center City Development and Operations Department created the Center City Implementation Plan (PDF) to help implement the Downtown Strategic Framework Plan (PDF) of increasing public investment, creating a housing finance strategy, coordinating management and regulating development. The plan recommended the City establish a predictable incentive system to encourage new housing in the center city. Therefore, the City created the Center City Housing Incentive Policy (CCHIP) in June 2012.

In June 2016, City Council revised and extended the program through June 2018. Program changes included amending the program boundary, adjusting the incentives to prioritize the downtown core, and requiring all projects receive design approval. Click to view the scoring matrix, which provides a snapshot of the program and revised incentive structure.

The CCHIP incorporates the goals and objectives of the Implementation Plan and provides greater incentives to housing projects within targeted growth areas identified in the Downtown Strategic Framework Plan and prioritizes the Downtown Core. The Policy leverages increasing development in the Center City in order to facilitate the creation and preservation of affordable housing, incorporating recommendations developed by the Mayor’s Housing Policy Task Force. The program also recognizes the need for incenting affordable housing throughout the City’s Regional Centers in accordance with SA Tomorrow.

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For additional information contact:

Christopher Lazaro
Redevelopment Officer
P: 210.207.3960

Karla Campos
Special Projects Manager
P: 210.207.4081                                                                                                                                                                

Erika Ragsdale
Special Projects Manager
P: 210.207.0108                                                                                                                                                                



What Does CCHIP Do?

CCHIP provides financial incentives to high density rental and for-sale housing projects (Projects) within the Greater Downtown Area (GDA), Regional Centers, and Transportation Corridors identified in the Via 2040 plan. Eligible Projects may receive City Fee Waivers, SAWS Impact Fee Waivers, Real Property Tax Reimbursement Grants, and infrastructure grants based on the terms outlined in the CCHIP.

Does My Project Qualify?

The incentives provided by the CCHIP is based on the Project’s location and future land use classification within the Greater Downtown Area (GDA). Properties with a future land use classification of “Urban Low Density Residential,” “Medium Density Residential,” and “Parks/Open Space” in an SA Tomorrow Regional Center or Community Plan shall not qualify for incentives under CCHIP. See attached map in Exhibit A for program areas.

Projects within the Central Business District (CBD) are within the Level 1 Incentive Area, projects located in the Greater Downtown Area and outside of the CBD are within the Level 2 Incentive Area. The Level 3 Incentive Area includes properties with eligible zoning in the SA Tomorrow Regional Centers and parcels with eligible zoning that are abutting Via’s Primary Transportation Corridors under the 2040 Long Range Plan.

Level 3 Incentive Areas will go into effect when City Council adopts the Land Use Plan for the corresponding Regional Center or when Via determines the route locations for primary transit corridors through Via 2040.

Please review the complete CCHIP Qualifications for more details.

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What is the Process for Application?

Upon receiving a CCHIP application, staff will set up a meeting to go over the project with requestor, staff will develop a term sheet outlining project incentives based on program eligibility. Once the applicant accepts the terms, staff will draft a funding agreement for signature. From application submission to agreement execution can take as little as 4 weeks or longer depending on the complexity of the project.

Please review our qualifications before applying for CCHIP incentives:

Effective January 2, 2019, a program administration fee will be assessed for all new projects accepting incentives under the CCHIP program. Fees must be paid before a final agreement is executed and before any incentives are disbursed. The program fee schedule is as follows:

CCHIP Monitoring Fee Schedule


City Fee Waiver

$ 100

SAWS Fee Waiver

$ 100

10 year tax rebate

$ 1,500

15 year tax rebate

$ 2,250

Infrastructure Grant (0.1% of grant amount)

0.1% of Grant Amount

Assignment Fee (effective October 1, 2019) 

*The per-unit fee shall be $0 for any housing units qualifying as affordable per the terms of the CCHIP policy. Projects in which at least half of the housing units qualify as affordable shall be exempt from the per-unit fee.

$2,500 per assignment plus $100 per housing unit and $0.25 per square foot of leasable commercial space, with a maximum total fee of $7,500.*