San Francisco Halts Tiny Home Project

Citing ‘absurd’ costs and community concerns, city supervisors are reevaluating a plan to build a ‘tiny home village’ for unhoused residents in the Mission District.

2 minute read

February 14, 2023, 12:00 PM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Google street view of tiny home village behind see-through green fence at 33 Gough St. in San Francisco with brick building in background

Site of San Francisco's first tiny home village at 33 Gough Street. | Google Maps / Tiny home village at 33 Gough Street, San Francisco

San Francisco’s Mission District may not get a proposed ‘tiny home’ village after all, reports Trisha Thadani for the San Francisco Chronicle. The proposal faces backlash from local residents and concerns that its costs, projected at $100,000 per unit, are out of line with similar projects, which reportedly cost as low as $10,000 per unit. While not a panacea for the housing crisis, tiny home villages are viewed as a cost-effective and fast way to build additional shelter and get people indoors and connected with services.

“The drama over the project provides a window into just how hard it is for the city to scale its housing and shelter system, even as a recent report from the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) estimated it would take more than 6,000 extra temporary and permanent beds to solve the crisis on the streets.”

The vacant city-owned lot where the community would be sited will be developed into affordable housing starting in 2025, Thadani points out. “Until then, officials hoped they could use the site to shelter those who are currently homeless in the Mission, which has struggled with a rise of people living in tents, drug use and illegal vending over the past few years.” The village would be the city's second such community. But local residents spoke out against the project, prompting county supervisors to put the plan on hold. The project was allocated $7 million, a price tag officials say could come down. Meanwhile, the difficulty of finding financially viable locations that won’t encounter neighborhood opposition makes the process of building affordable and supportive housing in San Francisco painfully slow.

Monday, February 13, 2023 in San Francisco Chronicle

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