HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum About
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > City Discussions


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2020, 9:28 PM
M II A II R II K's Avatar
M II A II R II K M II A II R II K is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto
Posts: 47,791
SF Mayor Affordable Homes Now Initiative Would Streamline Process

San Francisco Bureaucrats Can Shoot Down Almost Any Housing Project They Want. This Ballot Initiative Would Change That.


2.7.2020

By Christian Britschgi

Read More: https://reason.com/2020/02/07/san-fr...d-change-that/

Quote:
San Francisco Mayor London Breed is proposing a ballot measure that would eliminate city bureaucrats' ability to shoot down code-compliant housing developments. In exchange, the developers would have to include more affordable units than the city already requires. On its face, it's a pretty marginal reform. For the City by the Bay, it's a radical gamechanger.

- In San Francisco, every single building permit is officially issued at the discretion of the city's Planning Commission. That means that even if someone's proposal for a new single-family home or falafel restaurant conforms to the city's labyrinthine zoning code, commissioners can still demand changes or, in most cases, reject the application entirely. --- Members of the public can also request that commissioners use their discretionary authority to review a particular planning application, a privilege that has been weaponized by businesses to stifle competitors, by neighbors to block unwanted development, and by activists to shake down deep-pocketed developers.

- Breed's proposed ballot initiative would amend the city's charter to make multi-family housing projects "as-of-right" if they include 15 percent more affordable units than what is already required or are 100 percent affordable. That means they would receive a simplified administrative review by city staff and skip any discretionary review from the planning commission. Permits would have to be issued within six months. --- Currently, projects of 10 to 24 units must make 13.5 percent of their units affordable, while buildings containing more than 25 units must make 20.5 percent of them affordable. In this context, an "affordable" unit is one where rents are capped at 30 percent of a tenant's income and the tenant must fall within a specific income bracket. This policy is known as inclusionary zoning.

- "While I ultimately don't think either optional or mandatory inclusionary zoning programs are a solution to broad-based affordability, Mayor Breed's proposal can't make things worse," says Emily Hamilton, a scholar at George Mason University's Mercatus Center. Hamilton has researched these policies in Maryland and Virginia. She found that mandatory inclusionary zoning programs increase overall home prices by one percent per year. --- That wasn't true for opt-in inclusionary zoning programs that gave developers permission to build taller, denser buildings in return for their voluntary inclusion of affordable units. These voluntary programs did not act as a tax on development. But they also didn't produce much affordable housing, except in communities with very strict limits on density. Hamilton says Breed's proposal is more like the voluntary inclusionary zoning programs.

.....



__________________
ASDFGHJK
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2020, 2:59 AM
Pedestrian's Avatar
Pedestrian Pedestrian is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 11,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
[SIZE="5"]Currently, projects of 10 to 24 units must make 13.5 percent of their units affordable, while buildings containing more than 25 units must make 20.5 percent of them affordable. In this context, an "affordable" unit is one where rents are capped at 30 percent of a tenant's income and the tenant must fall within a specific income bracket. This policy is known as inclusionary zoning.
That's only partially correct and only for one year:

Quote:
New developments with 25 housing units or more are now required to either make 18 to 20 percent of their units affordable, build affordable units at another location equaling 30 to 33 percent of the total units, or pay an in-lieu fee equivalent to the cost of 30 to 33 percent of the units, which will then be used to build affordable housing elsewhere.
But wait, there’s more.

In addition, annual increases to the onsite requirement have now been established, which could potentially make future projects less feasible. The onsite requirement will increase by 1 percent on January 1, 2018, and January 1, 2019, and then increase 0.5 percent per year until it reaches 24 to 26 percent.
https://sf.curbed.com/2018/10/8/1790...-san-francisco

Then there are the rules about who qualifies for an "affordable" unit:

Quote:
What are the income requirements for BMR consideration?
Take a peek at the income limits. You will see they are derived from the federal government’s “Metro Fair Market Rent Area (HMFA) that Contains San Francisco.” As of April 2018, the “area median income” was $82,900.

This is relevant, because each BMR property has income limits. Look at the listings for a few examples. Try to find a unit or two that you might like, or might qualify for.

If you do qualify, there are a few more hoops, including the aforementioned six-hour workshop, a two-hour one-on-one counseling session, plus some credit and background checks to see if you will be approved for a loan.

Let’s assume you do check all of those boxes, and are now browsing the listings for likely units. Here’s one: 199 New Montgomery Street, Unit 508.

It’s a 672-square-foot, one-bedroom unit going for $417,000.

To qualify, you’ll have to have enough in the bank to cover a down payment—actually, more, considering the closing costs—and in addition to the mortgage, you’ll have to make enough to cover the $452.27 monthly HOA fees.

And you cannot make more than $82,900. Have a partner? The two of you can’t make more than $94,700. Oh, got a baby on the way—and a promotion? Hope the baby comes first, because the household income limit for a family of three is $106,550.
Income limits:

[quote]



https://sfmohcd.org/sites/default/fi...imits-HMFA.pdf

Most units in most buildings are for people making 70-120% of the area median income which, as you can see, may mean for a 2-person household a household income of up to $118,000 per year or, for a family of 4, up to $147.800; not exactly the terribly impoverished.

There is also a local density bonus program:


https://sfplanning.org/home-sf

And a state density bonus program:




https://www.cacities.org/Resources-D...ensity-Bo.aspx

Clearly, all this is truly "Byzantine". The article doesn't say, and I don't know, if projects being freed from discretionary review would still be eligible for the various density bonuses--quite a few current projects are taking advantage of these programs.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2020, 5:40 AM
jtown,man jtown,man is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Norfolk, Va
Posts: 2,374
Jesus Christ. Can we just cut a 100k check for like 100,000 people a year until every American has at least 100k? I am tired of these stupid long-winded approaches to "tackling housing affordability." Just. Freaking. Stop.

Let the free market build as much as possible. Start building quality public housing. Build houses and sell them for cheap to poor people. Do something. Stop making developers responsible for funding your wet dreams.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2020, 5:56 PM
edale edale is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 600
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtown,man View Post
Jesus Christ. Can we just cut a 100k check for like 100,000 people a year until every American has at least 100k? I am tired of these stupid long-winded approaches to "tackling housing affordability." Just. Freaking. Stop.

Let the free market build as much as possible. Start building quality public housing. Build houses and sell them for cheap to poor people. Do something. Stop making developers responsible for funding your wet dreams.
I agree that the real solution here for housing the very poor, especially in high cost metros, is to just build more public housing. America's track record with managing public housing has largely been terrible, but there's no reason that has to be the case. Public housing works well in countries around the world, and with the right amount of resources and management, it could (and does, in some places) work here, too.

We simply can't produce the number of units required to house the poor (working poor, unemployed, homeless) by just relying on private developers to dedicate a handful of units as 'affordable' in otherwise market rate/luxury development. This model also basically screws over middle class residents of the city. You're either rich and can afford to pay exorbitant rents, or you're very poor and maybe get lucky and get one of these prized affordable units. Of course, the market rents in these buildings are distorted by the need to cover the costs of the affordable units, so average rates go up for nearly everyone to subsidize the poor who get to live in these nice new buildings. With this subsidization, as well as the insane costs of development in many cities, it's no wonder 'market rate' rents in new buildings are so high.

edit: To add, the system described by Pedestrian encourages people to not make more money. If you could get a raise or a new job that pays better, but it means you no longer qualify to rent your affordable unit in a nice new building, why would you go for it? Once you're out of that affordable unit, it's a far, far leap to market rate housing unless you go way out to the fringes of the metro area, which obviously places a lot of strain in other areas of your life. If we had a robust public housing system, and allowed developers to build more units without all these requirements for dedicating a % of units affordable, requiring fees to go towards affordable housing trust funds, etc., I'm confident we'd have a better housing market for middle class people, and we'd be better able to accommodate a wide range of incomes in our cities.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2020, 6:07 PM
sopas ej's Avatar
sopas ej sopas ej is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Pasadena, California
Posts: 4,074
I agree, more public housing should be built. We can't rely on the profit-making private sector for everything; look at the US' healthcare system.

As an aside, as of the beginning of this year, in California, landlords can no longer discriminate against Section 8 vouchers, and if they do, they are breaking the law.
__________________
"If the climate were a bank, the U.S. would have already saved it."

---Hugo Chávez
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2020, 7:17 PM
Pedestrian's Avatar
Pedestrian Pedestrian is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 11,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by edale View Post
I agree that the real solution here for housing the very poor, especially in high cost metros, is to just build more public housing.
Do you consider an income of $344,000 per year "very poor" because note that if you have lots of kids you can qualify for some "affordable housing" in San Francisco with that income?

The point here is that "affordable housing" is NOT "public housing". It's intended to keep the middle class--the school teachers and waiters and nurses and firemen and cops and even some doctors . . . and, GOD HELP US, even some lawyers--in the city.

Quote:
To add, the system described by Pedestrian encourages people to not make more money. If you could get a raise or a new job that pays better, but it means you no longer qualify to rent your affordable unit in a nice new building, why would you go for it? Once you're out of that affordable unit, it's a far, far leap to market rate housing unless you go way out to the fringes of the metro area, which obviously places a lot of strain in other areas of your life. If we had a robust public housing system, and allowed developers to build more units without all these requirements for dedicating a % of units affordable, requiring fees to go towards affordable housing trust funds, etc., I'm confident we'd have a better housing market for middle class people, and we'd be better able to accommodate a wide range of incomes in our cities.
But the odds of winning the CA lottery or founding a successful tech empire are probably better than getting a cheap apartment under these affordable programs so it would be foolish to plan your career based on that expectation.

Well, maybe not quite that bad odds but still . . . .:

Quote:
What are the odds of scoring a BMR?

Actually, not that bad—if you compare it to the California State Lottery, that is.

As Curbed SF reported earlier this year, in 2017, the Mayor’s Office of Housing, which runs the program, conducted 104 lotteries. There were over 85,000 applications for 1,210 units—including 1,510 bids for moderate-income units , and 83,733 plays for one of 1,025 very-low to low-income rentals.

All in all, that’s about 1 in 70 chance. You do get better odds on Dia De Los Muertos $1 scratch tickets, although you can’t win a house with those.
https://sf.curbed.com/2018/10/8/1790...-san-francisco
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2020, 7:34 PM
Pedestrian's Avatar
Pedestrian Pedestrian is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 11,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
I agree, more public housing should be built. We can't rely on the profit-making private sector for everything; look at the US' healthcare system.

As an aside, as of the beginning of this year, in California, landlords can no longer discriminate against Section 8 vouchers, and if they do, they are breaking the law.
Not all "affordable housing" in San Francisco is built by for-profit developers (under the rules requiring them to do so in order to get permission to build market rate projects). Much of it is built by non-profit outfits like the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. These outfits tap into funds raised by city housing bonds and also money from developers who chose to pay into the fund rather than build their own affordable projects.

But the chief reason San Francisco is not building "public" housing (which, again, is NOT AFFORDABLE HOUSING) any more is its abysmal record in the city (and elsewhere):

Quote:
San Francisco must take over troubled Housing Authority
By Adam Brinklow Mar 8, 2019, 2:26pm PST

The San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) got word this week that San Francisco city government will take over most of its duties, as the federal government is fed up with what it calls mismanagement and financial irresponsibility at the agency that manages housing vouchers in SF.

Mayor London Breed said via email Thursday that SFHA “received notice from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that SFHA is in default of various agreements and obligations.”

HUD alleges that the Housing Authority has not been keeping up with necessary financial reports and has neglected oversight of its budgets.

The HUD move comes after a nearly $30 million budget deficit in 2018 required a bailout for SFHA from both the city and the feds.

. . . the agency lost track of how much they had spent . . . .

This will now make the city the key to rental assistance for an estimated 14,000 SF households.

Despite the words “San Francisco” in the Housing Authority’s name, SFHA doesn’t have much to do with city government, and answers primarily to federal authorities. SFHA manages the payment of Section 8 housing vouchers to qualifying SF renters.

The budget debacle was the latest in a string of scandals and embarrassments. A federal audit in 2013 declared the authority “troubled.” The Housing Authority Commission responded by firing then-director Henry Alvarez—months after the commission itself had been entirely replaced.

Earlier this year, the Housing Authority considered doubling minimum rents on Section 8 families to help mend its budget problems, a move that HUD has long pressed the agency to make, but ultimately declined to make the move . . . .
https://sf.curbed.com/2019/3/8/18256...ral-government

In other words, for at least the last 7 years, public housing (but NOT AFFORDABLE HOUSING) in San Francisco has been in a state of chaos.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2020, 11:55 PM
Qubert Qubert is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 365
Quote:
Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
I agree, more public housing should be built. We can't rely on the profit-making private sector for everything; look at the US' healthcare system.

As an aside, as of the beginning of this year, in California, landlords can no longer discriminate against Section 8 vouchers, and if they do, they are breaking the law.
The problem is that even "public" facilities *do* in fact rely on profit motive to survive vis-a-vis taxation. Cities unable or unwilling to both raise revenue as well as be prudent in their finances will eventually see their public housing/schools/hospitals/transit infrastructure crumble.
Reply With Quote
     
     
End
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > City Discussions
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:39 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.