November 23, 2015 Housing Action Coalition

Why Reforming the Off-Site Radius Matters

Off-Site Radius

1600 Market is the only off-site housing project built under the current rules.

After two years of discussion and detailed analysis by a large number of stakeholders, including SFHAC, City Planning and the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH), the Off-Site Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO) is finally scheduled for public hearings on reforming it, starting December 10.

The good news is that most of the restrictions currently in the off-site IHO are proposed for significant modification that will hopefully give developers confidence to attempt building off-site projects. There is fairly broad consensus on how the new rules should be written to achieve this.

The bad news is that the proposed legislation retains one of its worst restrictions, the geographic radius. This rule restricts construction of any off-site BMRs to within one mile of the market-rate project. It was written as these things often are, with the best of intentions! The idea was that by requiring that the BMRs to be built in proximity to the principal project, the City would produce mixed-income communities, something we all support. In practical terms, however, no one chose it because of the unusual difficulty market-rate developers face in getting control of a suitable site on which to build the BMRs at the same time as the principal project.

The SFHAC has proposed two amendments that would allow a waiver to the one-mile rule. If you want to learn what they are and why reforming the off-site radius is so important, read our letter on the topic. 

Read SFHAC’s Off-Site Radius Letter

It doesn’t stop here though. Not everyone agrees that the radius should be able to be expanded, despite the City’s need for affordable housing. You can help our amendments make it into the legislation by sending an email to the Planning Commission through our one-click petition below or by speaking at the December 10 Planning Commission hearing!

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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