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City Hall is Haggling an Ambitious Housing Plan, Hoping the State Doesn’t Yank Billions of Dollars

The SF Planning Commission spent Thursday afternoon debating a “housing element” plan on which billions of dollars in state aid is dependent, but so far state authorities have rejected 97% of other cities’ housing plans.

San Francisco City Hall has done some pretty impressive things to build up its housing stock, especially during the pandemic. the Homeless Hotel Program has amazing potential. We’ve seen affordable housing move forward Neighborhoods that have traditionally avoided it. We saw the city Buy real estate for livingabove all the purchase of the El Rio building who kept this historic club open.

But it all depends on billions of dollars of government funding that the government can rip off, and then suddenly we can’t afford these wonderful things. We must demonstrate to the state that we can achieve our housing goals by a 774-page document called Housing Element. But as the Chronicle reports, the condition has been of late Rejection of 97% of housing elements in cities presented to them.

“In Southern California, which has earlier deadlines than the northern portion of the state, only six out of 196 housing plans were deemed compliant with state law,” according to the Chronicle. “The rest, including those from Los Angeles, have been sent back to the drawing board, and these cities could lose local control — not to mention billions in affordable housing — if they can’t get their housing elements in shape.”

In San Francisco, meeting these requirements means building 82,000 new housing units by 2031, which would require tripling our current housing development rate. As you can see above, this new accommodation has not been distributed particularly well! zone changes could help spread the load, as did the recent push Four Plex Conversions.

But at Thursday’s SF planning commission meeting, where the 774-page housing element was discussed, some commissioners wondered if we could look at different forms of conversion. That is, the Tons of downtown office space that nobody wants.

“Is it possible that downtown office building owners want to convert them into residential buildings?” Sue Diamond, planning commissioner, asked Thursday afternoon. “I think we should consider incentivising some of these downtown office buildings where office space may not be in demand as much and shifting patterns to residential use so that we have a 24/7 downtown population have that this could better support the retail trade there.”

The stakes are certainly high, but given that this is both San Francisco and the California government, the pace of decision-making will be surprisingly slow. According to the Chronicle, “the draft environmental impact report is scheduled for release on April 20, and the planning commission will vote on it in the fall.” Additionally, “the state mandate for a fully adopted residential element in San Francisco is May 2023.”

Related: In another Fourplex legislative drama, SF may unstructure the new streamlined approval process [SFist]

Image: @pixeldan via Unsplash



City Hall is Haggling an Ambitious Housing Plan, Hoping the State Doesn’t Yank Billions of Dollars Source link City Hall is Haggling an Ambitious Housing Plan, Hoping the State Doesn’t Yank Billions of Dollars

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