February 1, 2016 Housing Action Coalition

AHBP Continued After Fifth Public Hearing

Sacha Aicken, former Redfin CTO, quoted above said it best during the seven-hour Affordable Housing Bonus Program (AHBP) Planning Commission Hearing last Thursday. He called to question, how can we scrutinize and stall when the AHBP is only one piece in the solution to solve our housing crisis. He was not alone. Twenty-five residents showed up to support the AHBP, advocating for more middle-income housing and more housing in general.

Opponents of the plan came out in full force and asked the Commissioners to “dump the density bonus plan” and “go back to the drawing board.” It seemed that many of those trying to stop the AHBP are not serious about trying ANY housing solutions that address the affordability crisis. 

The AHBP directly aligns with the goals of Supervisor Kim’s 2014 Prop. K ballot measure, which stated that the city will strive to make one-third new housing units affordable to low-income residents and one-half affordable to middle-income folks. Not only does the AHBP support Prop K, it improves upon the state’s density bonus by achieving higher percentages of affordability. Not passing it would be a missed opportunity.

Thank you to the San Francisco-based non-profit builder, BRIDGE Housing who came out in support of the AHBP.  Another benefit of the program barely acknowledged is that it offers up to three additional floors to 100 percent affordable developments, increasing the ability of 100% affordable developers to deliver more low and very low income housing. Still, several affordable housing activists, including the Council of Community Housing Organizations, officially came out in opposition to the AHBP and told the Planning Department that “they could do better.”

The AHBP goes back to the Planning Commission on Thursday, February 25th for a vote. The Planning Department has been asked to address design guidelines, density equity, AMI, CU process, exemptions to the program, lot mergers, rent control, demolition, impacts on small businesses and historic preservation. The SFHAC will continue our work in getting the AHBP across the finish line.

For those who could not attend the Planning Commission, SFHAC captured the highlights on Twitter. See some of the quotes below and follow #SupportAHBP for future updates.

 – Andrew Mullan of Bayview

– Iriving Gonzales of AIA San Francisco

– Starchild of SFBARF

Support the AHBP by sending an email to the Commissioners or attending the public hearing February 25.

Support the AHBP

Housing Action Coalition

The Housing Action Coalition is a member-supported non-profit that advocates for the creation of well designed, well-located housing at all levels of affordability. We believe more housing means more choices and better solutions.

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