Supervisor Jane Kim today introduced a charter amendment with the goal of asking San Franciscans to rethink affordable housing requirements for market-rate developments in several ways. The most significant of which would be a doubling of the percent of mandated affordable units for developments of over 25 units in size. Supervisor Aaron Peskin is co-sponsoring the legislation.
The meat of the amendment, which would require a ballot vote in the June election before taking effect, would, as mentioned, increase the percentage of affordable housing for developments of over 25 units from the current 12 percent to 25 percent. However, the proposal would also temporarily exempt developments that fall in the 10 to 25 unit range says the Examiner. The idea being, apparently, that the BOS would eventually develop new requirements for developments that fall into that range.
At present, developers of market-rate housing of over 10 units must either have a percentage of affordable housing onsite, pay into an affordable housing fund, or construct an amount equal to 20 percent of their market development off site notes the Business Times.
Also, this charter amendment would make law what a 2014 ballot proposition only encouraged in a non-binding way Mayor Lee and Kim notably butted heads that year over whether the city needed a 30-percent affordable mandate, which resulted in that non-binding prop.
“We can’t wait to act any longer," declared Supervisor Kim in a press released issued today by her office. "With the ridiculously high cost of living in the Bay Area, our middle class residents are also vulnerable to losing their homes due to skyrocketing rents they can’t afford or by being pushed out of rent controlled buildings by the landlord. And most of them won’t be able to afford another place in the City,” furthered Kim. “This is an urgent step we can and should take now.”
Supervisor Peskin echoed her sentiments, observing that voter approval of the Mission Rock Project — with a record 40 percent mandated affordable housing — is evidence that the people of San Francisco will support this proposed increase.
"The voters have spoken loud and clear: they want real solutions to the affordability crisis and they know that the development industry is part of the solution," said Peskin.
The Times reports that SPUR opposes Kim's proposal, going so far as to call it an "un-doing [of] the grand bargain" that led to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund in 2012.
If voters do get the chance to vote on changes to the inclusionary housing policy this June, expect it to be another contentious election with issue of affordability and housing at its core.