The Housing Action Coalition recently met with Anne Taupier, Acting Director of the San Francisco Office of Economic & Workforce Development. Working at OEWD since 2009, she brings long standing experience and dedication to her role, and we were excited to hear her vision for OEWD and thoughts on housing.
Anne believes that building more housing is fundamental to making more affordable and equitable housing possible, and is optimistic about the many high quality home building projects currently in the approval pipeline.
Between November of 2019 and 2020, more 5,300 new homes were approved through the entitlement process and notable among them is the Potrero Power Station development that will replace underused industrial space with more than 2,700 waterfront homes. This project has already secured its demolition permits and didn’t face any CEQA lawsuits, an encouraging sign that projects could start to realize the effects of pro-housing legislation like AB 900.
Further down the road, OEWD is working on the Freedom West redevelopment. This will completely replace 386 BMR units and add an additional 2,000 homes. OEWD also plans to replace BMR units at Plaza East, and hopes to add BMR and market rate units. These would provide affordable housing in the Fillmore district, near downtown.
Anne also expressed her belief that San Francisco needs to change its mindset when it comes to considering new housing projects. Building housing correlates directly with equity and should be seen as a positive for the city. Furthermore, the new RHNA allocations mean San Francisco will have to find resources to meet its housing requirements. For its part, she wants OEWD to work more closely with other departments, like Planning and DBI, to streamline the permitting approval process and cultivate the attitude that new housing creates economic opportunity and makes San Francisco more inclusive. HAC wholeheartedly agrees with Anne’s sentiments, and we wish her and the OEWD the best!