FAQ

Does this mean 7 storey buildings will go up all around me?

Although this might seem like a radical change, due to the persistent lack of funds for Affordable Housing in San Francisco, as well as the requirements of Affordable Housing developers and their funding sources, 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 downtown?

Yes—look at the maps below. 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 larger than 10,000 square feet. The Legalize Affordable Housing Everywhere zoning overlay proposal would allow lot mergers, which would allow non-profits to create even more potential sites by combining lots smaller than 10,000 square feet.

Current Affordable Housing Sites

City lots that are larger than 10,000 square feet and are either currently zoned for affordable housing or currently used as affordable housing. There are 725 lots.

Future Affordable Housing Sites

Existing sites + lots that are larger than 10,000 square feet and that would become available for development as affordable housing, after the zoning is changed. This brings 1,352 lots (An additional 627 lots).

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.