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BOARD OF SUPERVISORS UNANIMOUSLY PASSES SUPERVISOR WIENER’S LEGISLATION TO INCENTIVIZE CONSTRUCTION OF ON-SITE AFFORDABLE HOUSING

July 8, 2014
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Scott Wiener
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BOARD OF SUPERVISORS UNANIMOUSLY PASSES SUPERVISOR WIENER’S LEGISLATION TO INCENTIVIZE CONSTRUCTION OF ON-SITE AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Affordable units will no longer count against unit density limits when at least 20% of units in a development are designated affordable, thus increasing affordable housing production

San Francisco, CA - Today the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Supervisor Scott Wiener's legislation to incentivize construction of on-site affordable housing as part of market-rate developments. The legislation will create a trigger under which for any market-rate development that allocates at least 20% of its on-site units as affordable, none of those affordable units will count against the project's unit density limits. The current mandatory minimum is 12% affordable. Thus, developers will be able to include a higher number of affordable units without reducing the number of market-rate units.  There will no longer be a tension between producing affordable and market-rate units.

The legislation will also eliminate density controls for 100% affordable housing projects, which will allow more units in completely affordable projects.

"Today we're creating a path to build more badly needed affordable housing in our city," said Supervisor Wiener. "Given our severe housing crisis, we need to act now. Though we have a minimum requirement for affordable housing production, this isn't enough, and we need to provide developers with incentives to build more than the minimum. This legislation will spur the construction of more on-site affordable housing, which is the fastest way to create affordable homes."

The legislation will create more permanently affordable units overall, incentivize developers to build on-site affordable units instead of paying a fee, and incentivize developers to build significantly more affordable units (at least 20% vs. the 12% statutory minimum). The legislation thus will allow for production of a larger number of affordable units without reducing the number of market-rate units. The legislation will also eliminate density controls for 100% affordable housing projects, which will allow more units in completely affordable projects.

The legislation will not change the minimum required affordable housing requirements, and developers will still be able to choose between providing 12% of units as affordable on-site or paying a fee. But, the legislation will provide developers with an additional alternative - and incentive - to build at least 20% of units as on-site affordable by not counting those units against unit density limits. Developers thus will not have to choose between affordable and market-rate units but rather can build both, thus creating more of both kinds of housing.

Nothing in the legislation will affect existing height and bulk limits in the Planning Code. The legislation applies to all zoning categories except areas zoned for single-family homes or two-unit buildings.