Unless you've been living under a rock, it's no news that San Francisco is in the midst of a housing crunch. One proposed solution? To (ironically enough) build housing beneath the bedrock.
San Francisco's swelling growth of wealth has, as a side effect, created one of the nation's most severe housing quandaries. The United Nations deemed our current homelessness issue "cruel and inhumane," and housing insecurity continues to run rampant. Though the City of San Francisco's making strides to ease this intricacy, the problem's only getting worse. But one out-of-state development company thinks some relief exists below the cement.
Chris Elsey, a property developer behind his Kansas-based company Elsey Partners LLC, said to ABC 7's Luz Pena that his company hopes a new apartment complex at 15th and Van Ness Avenue will bring dozens of new affordable housing units to the market.
Elsey plans to build 219 housing units, most at market-rate, at the Mission District address, 154 of those being above ground micro-units. So, what about the other 65? Well, those SROs — "sleeping pods" — will be underground ... in the building's basement.
But the inhabitants of those units wouldn't be completely shunned from the sun. A recent note from the San Francisco Planning Department concerning the potential lack of sunlight in those units directed Elsey to add a courtyard — where natural light can inundate the pods, below — to his plans.
How much is each unit expected to fetch for, you ask? Elsey wants these pods to run around $1,000 to $1,375 per month to rent.
"[Future residents] are getting less but they're also paying less," Elsey adds in response to criticisms of his ideated small living spaces. "Paying like $1,000 instead of $3,000. So that's the question [...] are you willing to sacrifice some of your privacy to live in a congregate living arrangement."
Elsey states the project could take two or more years to find its footing, and, in the meantime, he will meet with local housing activists to listen to their concerns and suggestions.
The past two years alone have seen a 17 percent increase in the number of homeless in SF, and, per Curbed SF, rents during the past five years in the city shot up by as much as 18 percent in some cases.
Image: Courtesy of Google Maps