July 15, 2016 Corey Smith

Three More Floors for Affordable Housing

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the 100% Affordable Housing Bonus Program. This legislation grants affordable housing developers the right to add three extra floors and additional density in 100% affordable projects. Immediately, it means that seven affordable projects currently in the pipeline could add 203 additional units above the currently zoned 639 affordable units – a 32% increase!

The San Francisco Housing Action Coalition is dedicated to passing the original Affordable Housing Bonus Program, but after competing legislation was introduced, the legislation was split in two. It appeared that two affordable housing density proposals were on a collision course.  Thankfully, cooler minds prevailed and a compromise was reached.

We recently highlighted the legislation and recent changes, but here’s a quick recap on what was just passed, which applies only to 100% affordable projects:

  • Three extra floors and/or extra density within the building envelope;
  • Prohibition of the demolition of existing residential units, including rent controlled units;
  • The City will explore a variety of small business protections, including relocation fees, first-right-of-refusal, requiring the developer to establish a relocation plan, and an advance notification of no less than 18 months;
  • Preserve neighborhood-serving businesses;
  • “Modified Conditional Use Permit” – the appeal timeline would be shortened and project appeals would go directly to the Board of Supervisors rather than the Board of Appeals.

The recent addition of a the modified Conditional Use requirement for 100% affordable housing is, unfortunately, not something we support. By definition – and consistent with the Supervisor’s 11-0 vote earlier this year – affordable housing is always “necessary and desirable”. However, we recognize the political climate and appreciate Supervisor Tang’s dedication to passing solid legislation.  

In a subsequent press release, Supervisor Tang announced she was withdrawing her ballot measure since it mirrored her 100% affordable language – a happy outcome for all.

The second part of Sup. Tang’s AHBP, the Mixed-Income legislation, is currently awaiting the completion of the economic feasibility analysis associated with the voters’ approval of Prop C last month. This is likely to be a much more difficult piece to pass.

Are you interested in becoming an advocate for more housing in San Francisco? Then become a member! We have options for individuals and businesses of all levels.

Corey Smith

Corey Smith is HAC's Executive Director and can be reached at corey@housingactioncoalition.org.

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