S.F. Politicos Pitch Housing Crisis Measures

A trio of elected officials—Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor Scott Weiner, and Supervisor Eric Mar—have proposed policy measures to alleviate the housing affordability crisis in San Francisco.
January 18, 2014, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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With tech business booming and the median home price in the city north of $1 million, San Francisco’s political leaders proposed a number of initiatives aimed at delivering more affordable options for housing.

Supervisor Scott Wiener provides the most specific market incentive for densification and the construction of affordable housing. Marisa Lagos reports that Weiner’s legislation would allow developers to add additional units to developments if they build beyond the inclusionary zoning threshold of 12 percent affordable units to 20 percent.

Supervisor Eric Mar’s new legislation addresses the common practice of tenancies-in-common (TICs): “Mar's proposal would require anyone who wants to convert apartment buildings into TICs…to seek Planning Department approval. The Planning Department would have to ensure that the building is up to code before it could approve the conversion,” reports Lagos. It’s unclear, however, whether the city can legally regulate TICs.

In his State of the City address, Mayor Ed Lee proposed “a seven-point plan that includes building housing over existing city facilities and doubling the amount of down-payment assistance that the city will provide to middle-income home buyers, up to $200,000,” reports John Coté.

Lee is targeting a rate of 5,000 new homes to be built or rehabilitated each year over the next six years. “One-third of those units are intended to be affordable to residents with low incomes.”

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Published on Monday, January 13, 2014 in San Francisco Chronicle
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