June 27, 2016 Corey Smith

Affordable Housing Bonus Program Faces A Vote On June 28th

This Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on a portion of Sup. Katy Tang’s Affordable Housing Bonus Program (AHBP). Sup. Tang split the AHBP into two pieces at the Land Use Committee hearing on June 13th: the 100% affordable housing component and the Mixed-Income (market-rate) housing component. At that same June 13th hearing, the 100% affordable part was approved by the committee and sent to the full Board last week. There was some discussion of the 100% affordable program last week, but the Supervisors ultimately delayed the vote while the Mixed-Income component remains at the Land Use Committee.

Sup. Tang planned to have the entire AHBP legislation proceed together, but this changed when Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Eric Mar suddenly introduced a rival proposal called ‘Density Done Right’. To be clear, it does not bring San Francisco into compliance with state density laws.

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The SFHAC was not involved in the conception or drafting of Density Done Right and we have grave concerns about some of its features, like requiring Conditional Use permits for 100% affordable projects, the neighborhood by neighborhood-specific income eligibility levels, and the very few parcels available city-wide for these 100% affordable housing projects with density bonuses.

In a reaction to the Density Done Right legislation, Supervisor Tang submitted the 100% affordable component of the AHBP as a ballot initiative for November. If her legislation is defeated by the Board, the voters of SF would decide its fate where its chances would presumably improve. SFHAC remains optimistic that the Supervisors will agree and move forward with a single 100% affordable program in time for the ballot measure to be removed. 

The Mixed-Income component of the AHBP has been delayed indefinitely because of politics and the recent approval of Proposition C, which raises the minimum on-site inclusionary requirements for projects from 12% to 25%. The economic feasibility study required under Prop C could potentially change the AHBP’s density bonuses which would change the amount of affordable housing projects would provide. As of today, there are not enough votes at the full Board to pass the Mixed-Income component. The economic feasibility study will be completed by this fall and SFHAC hopes that its recommendations and conclusions are followed by the Board of Supervisors.

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Corey Smith

Corey Smith is HAC's Executive Director and can be reached at corey@housingactioncoalition.org.

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