Does this mean 7 storey buildings will go up all around me? What about increased transportation needs?

Although this seems like a radical change, due to the requirements of Affordable Housing developers and their funding sources, as well as the persistent lack of funds for Affordable Housing in San Francisco, this isn't as big of a change as you might think.

The city of San Francisco typically only builds 200 - 300 new affordable units per year. This represents housing for 400 - 900 people spread out over 4-6 apartment developments, a handful. Not all of them will be in one neighborhood - that's the point. Most neighborhoods won't see any new affordable housing due to this proposal (unfortunately), but some will.

Every new development counts, and every dollar counts. This proposal will allow public tax dollars to go be used more efficiently, and it will make SF neighborhoods more economically integrated by allowing subsidized housing to be built in any neighborhood.

Are there any big lots outside of down town?

Yes, look at the maps below. On the left, in green, are the city lots that are > 10,000 sq ft and are either currently zoned for affordable housing or currently used as affordable housing. On the right are the lots that are >10,000 sq ft and would become available for possible development as affordable housing, after the zoning is changed. The zoning change would open up 627 additional lots for potential Affordable Housing development. Given that each lot will provide at least 50 units, this means thousands of additional low-income families will be able to stay in San Francisco.

And these are just the lots that are already >10,000 sq ft. The Legalize Affordable Housing Everywhere zoning overlay proposal would allow lot mergers, which would allow non-profits to create new 10,000 sq ft lots.

Current Affordable Housing Sites

725 lots

Future Affordable Housing Sites

1,352 lots

Who will benefit from this change?


Affordable Housing benefits everyone in society. It benefits the people that live there, of course, but it also benefits all of the people that socialize, work with, or employ the person that lives in the affordable housing.

This zoning change will enable the creation of housing for people who have as little as zero income, like retired people, up to people who make $35/ hour and have a family. If you go to a restaurant, have a child who goes to school or day care, or interact in any way with anyone who makes $15-$20/ hour, or make that income level yourself, you are or are interacting with people who would qualify for the housing we are trying to facilitate.

What about middle income housing?

Currently, this proposal is for housing that is subsidized by all three layers of government: local, state and national. Building subsidized middle income housing is much more expensive for the city because there are no matching sources of money from other layers of government like there are for the lower income types of housing. If you would like to see housing for more income levels covered under this proposal, sign up for updates and let us know when we email you.

Will this zoning change tear down existing rent controlled housing?

No. We can exclude lots with existing rent controlled housing on them from this legislation. In addition, San Francisco has demolition controls that protect existing rent controlled housing from being demolished.