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How San Francisco Ran Out of Affordable Housing Funds, and What to Do About It

Analysis and policy recommendations from Bay Area-based think tank SPUR focuses on how poorly designed inclusionary zoning the exact opposite of the desired effect.
November 18, 2018, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Lerner Vadim

"San Francisco is running out of funds to build affordable housing, and the city will need to make changes quickly to fix the problem," according to an article by Adhi Nagraj.

One question that must be asked in response to this reality: How did a city riding an economic boom get so short on funding to solve one of its most visible and morally troubling challenges? And another question: What can the city do about it?

To explain how the city got to this point, Nagraj has this to say: "Many factors are at play, but a look at data from the city indicates that a combination of rising construction costs and new requirements is slowing down new development and curtailing incoming funds from development fees.

And as for what to do about it, Nagraj shares five immediate suggestions endorsed by SPUR, including:

  1. Audit the building code to reduce costs.
  2. Support pre-fab construction outside of San Francisco.
  3. Set new inclusionary requirements.
  4. Allow more density bonuses.
  5. Pause increased inclusionary requirements.

The article includes a lot more detail on the how of San Francisco's funding shortage, as well as more detail on each of the five recommendations for what to do about it.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, November 8, 2018 in SPUR
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