December 15, 2014 Housing Action Coalition

Mayor’s 2014 Housing Work Group Wrap Up

After 10-months and hundreds of hours spent on housing policy research and discussions, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) published a summary report on the findings and recommendations of the Mayor’s Housing Work Group. As a participant in the group, here’s a quick review of our involvement and 2015 strategies to address the housing affordability crisis.
State of San Francisco’s Housing Market
In 2014, developers added over 3,500 new homes (27% are permanently affordable) to the housing market. Middle-income earners (50-150% Area Median Income (AMI) or $44k – $131k for a 3-person household) make up 40% of San Francisco’s population and continue to be the most vulnerable in our competitive housing market.
What’s coming in 2015
Next year, the SF Housing Action Coalition will work to pass policy solutions to address the middle income housing disparity to help preserve our city’s diversity:
Create a density bonus program for San Francisco as a way to encourage more housing targeted up to 120% AMI in new developments.
– Allow developers to “dial up” the inclusionary requirements for either the on-site or off-site developments, which will provide a greater percentage of BMR (Below-Market-Rate) units at 120% AMI targets.
– Encourage new developments on city-owned land to be mixed-income projects; leverage land costs in order to maximize the number of affordable and middle-income units on the site.
Inclusionary housing changes:
The SFHAC wants to modify the off-site option of the inclusionary housing ordinance to encourage more partnerships between market-rate and nonprofit developers. This option results in BMR production of 20%, as opposed to 12% for on-site. However, the rules need to be made more flexible if this is to be a viable choice (only 7 off-site projects have been delivered since 2003). Read our suggestions here.
No one benefits from a project sitting in a queue, especially the community. The SFHAC believes streamlining the Planning Department’s permitting and approval system could help produce housing quicker. Read our Flexibility in Planning Code suggestions.
The SFHAC will continue to advocate for new funding sources for affordable housing, and will be tracking the Housing Action and Neighborhood Stabilization Plan. SFHAC Business Members are invited to join us on Friday, January 23rd at our Regulatory Committee Meeting for a presentation by Rebecca Foster at OEWD to hear the Mayor’s plan to locate funding.
2014 was a year of research and discussion. 2015 is going to be a year of action. By June, we predict we will be seeing several pieces of new housing legislation moving through Land Use Committee and to the Board of Supervisors. Stick with us!
Image credit: David Giral Photography

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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