Housing in San Francisco
The City's housing shortage drives out families, forces workers into long commutes, puts seniors at risk, and is a significant contributor to the top challenges we need to tackle, including homelessness, climate change, and our economic recovery.
San Francisco can and should be a leader when it comes to housing, but that requires a fundamental change to how we approach housing. This change has already started – San Francisco was one of only two Bay Area cities to get its Housing Element certified by the state by the deadline.
The City needs to take that same sense of urgency and accountability now on making the changes necessary to get housing built. Housing for All sets that vision and course of action.
What is Housing for All
Housing for All is Mayor London Breed’s implementation strategy for the Housing Element. The first step for Housing for All is the issuance of Mayor Breed’s Executive Directive which sets the immediate and near-term actions the City will take to start this process and begin to make real change to how San Francisco approves and builds housing. It consists of governmental organization actions, administrative actions, and legislative actions the City will take to meet the bold goal set in the Housing Element of allowing for 82,000 new homes to be built over eight years.
What the Housing for All Executive Directive does
The Executive Directive sets immediate actions that lay the groundwork for the City to unlock its housing pipeline, accelerate the approval of new housing projects, and create additional capacity for all types of housing across San Francisco. It focuses on three key areas:
1. Establish Housing Element Accountability and Oversight
Directs the creation of a centralized authority and oversight for the implementation of Housing Element policies and actions, including a centralized Interagency Implementation Team to which all departments are accountable. It also convenes City leadership, staff, policymakers, affordable housing advocates, and industry experts to collaborate on an Affordable Housing Implementation and Funding Strategy.
2. Require Administrative Departmental Actions
Charges all City Departments with responsibility for achieving the goals and actions set forth in San Francisco’s Housing Element. Departments completed Housing Delivery Performance Assessment and Improvement Plans as required by May 1, and the Interdepartmental Implementation Team submitted an Action Plan by July 1. These efforts are focused on changing City procedures to prioritize and expedite housing approvals.
3. Set Initial Legislative Actions and Timeline
Directs relevant departments to introduce specific legislation to reform the policies and processes that pose the greatest barriers to housing production. The Directive sets the timelines for these legislative actions, with some being introduced within the next two weeks. Proposed legislation will:
Reform restrictive zoning controls
Reduce procedural requirements that impede housing production
Revise inclusionary housing requirements
Remove barriers for office-to-residential conversions
Create new funding mechanisms to unlock the housing pipeline
Standardize and reduce impact fees
Unlocking the Housing Pipeline
Affordable Housing Working Group
- Status: Formed, developing strategies to be submitted in early 2024
- Mayor's Medium Post
Streamlining City Approval Process
Removing Density Restrictions
- Status: Legislation introduced, approved by the Planning Commission, and pending at the Board of Supervisors
- Press Release
- Press Story
Housing Fee Reform Plan