San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors this week approved the city’s Affordable Housing Bonus Program, or HomeSF, according to Curbed San Francisco. The law rewards multifamily developers who incorporate more affordable housing.
Developers will earn up to two extra floors if 30% of the building’s units are set aside as affordable, with condos priced from 90% to 140% of city’s median income and apartments at 55% to 110%.
- The law was a long time coming, with ongoing negotiations since the mayor first introduced it in 2015. Critics contended that added development would further fuel gentrification. One board member said the bill would help create 5,000 affordable units over 20 years.
California is facing a considerable shortage of housing, particularly in the low- and middle-income categories. The state needs to be building 180,000 new homes a year to meet demand, but over the last decade it has averaged just 80,000 annually, per the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
Four counties in the San Francisco Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Sonoma and San Mateo) each have 10,000 fewer rental units than needed to house all residents requiring affordable housing, according to a recent report from the California Housing Partnership Corporation. The report found that residents making less than 50% of those counties' median incomes are shelling out more than half of those earnings for rent.
Last summer, San Francisco residents voted to up the share of required affordable units in multifamily projects from 12% to 25%.
Though it’s certainly one of the hardest-hit U.S. cities, San Francisco isn’t alone in its affordable housing woes: 25% of U.S. housing markets were less affordable in Q1 2017 than their historical average for the period, according to Attom Data Solutions.
Acknowledging the ongoing difficulty of city and state workers to afford to live near where they work, San Francisco officials recently allocated $44 million for an apartment project for local public school teachers, targeted for completion in 2022.