March 7, 2016 Rob Poole

Supervisor Peskin Introduces Idea for Building ADUs Citywide

Supervisor Aaron PeskinLast week at the full Board, District 3 Supervisor Peskin announced legislation to allow for the construction of new accessory dwelling units (ADUs), aka in-law units, throughout San Francisco.

At the hearing, he referred to building new in-law homes as a “pragmatic infill strategy” that could potentially add up to 40,000 new homes throughout the City. He commended Supervisor Wiener for figuring out how to make new ADUs subject to rent control (If an ADU is built within an existing rent-controlled property, the addition would be exempt from Costa Hawkins and the new units could also be rent-controlled). Watch his full commentary here, starting at 1:18.20.

Recent legislation on ADUs suggests that the political appetite exists to allow building them that was absent when Supervisor Peskin’s first attempted to pass a similar measure in 2002. Here’s an overview of some earlier ordinances:

Former District 3 Supervisor David Chiu – 2014
Then-Supervisor Chiu sponsored successful legislation to create a pathway for existing illegal in-law units to be brought up to code and legalized. It is estimated that there are many tens of thousands of existing illegal ADUs in the City.

District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener – 2014
Supervisor Wiener authored legislation that created a pilot program in the Castro district to allow new ADUs to be built within the existing building envelopes.

Supervisor Scott Wiener and Former District 3 Supervisor Julie Christensen – 2015
Both Supervisors passed legislation to allow for the construction of new ADUs within existing building envelopes in their own districts.

SFHAC has advocated for building ADUs since its founding and is pleased to see their growing acceptance as a sensible solution to San Francisco’s housing shortage. They have the smallest carbon footprint of any type of housing and are much cheaper to build, too. They work especially well for homeowners who need housing solutions for their grown children or aging parents or simply need help paying the mortgage. Many neighbors like them because they don’t alter neighborhood character. SFHAC looks forward to supporting Supervisor Peskin’s legislation and helping passing this common-sense measure. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

Image: SF Board of Supervisors

Rob Poole

Rob is the former Development and Communications Manager at SFHAC.

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