2024 Election: How can San Francisco build 82,000 new homes in one of most densest US cities after affordable housing bond passed? – KGO-TV

3 minutes, 56 seconds Read

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Recently, voters in San Francisco overwhelmingly said they were willing to support a bond measure to build more affordable housing. It’s not a option, the state actually ordered the city to build 82,000 new units by 2031. San Francisco is already the second densest major city in the country after New York.

When the late Dianne Feinstein was mayor in the 70s and 80s, it was all about developing downtown.

But when it came to the expansion of the neighborhoods, they were clearly off-limits.

Feinstein wanted to stop residential high rises like the Fontana Towers near aquatic park from popping up. Fontana was built before Feinstein was elected.

But San Francisco has a housing crisis. High home prices have priced many working families out of the city.

In a rally on the steps of City Hall, San Francisco’s mayor told supporters the only prescribed cure is to build up-up-up by loosening regulations.

“Yes, more housing, yes, more opportunities, yes, a better future, yes, a workforce that can afford to live here. Yes, yes, yes – housing now,” expressed the mayor.

MORE: SF supervisors grill health dept. on 400 mental health treatment beds promised in 2021

San Francisco supervisors grilled the health department on the 400 mental health beds beds promised in 2021.

As part of an effort to build more affordable housing throughout California, the state ordered San Francisco to add 82,000 units of housing by the year 2031.

If the city doesn’t, it could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding for affordable housing and transit.

But, how would this new construction affect the look and feel of San Francisco as the “Paris of the West”?

Younger families struggling to stay here believe San Francisco has to sacrifice its aesthetics in the name of affordability.

“I definitely do not care. I would love to live at Fontana Tower and I know dozens of families – they are housing, it’s a place that is awesome called housing,” insisted Sam Moss of the Mission Housing Development Corporation.

MORE: SF officials approve new ordinance to satisfy state’s housing mandate, avoid losing funding

In recent years, expansion has occurred in the eastern neighborhoods like the Mission District, Potrero and the South of Market neighborhoods and Mission Bay.

Now, the state is telling San Francisco it’s time to build in those neighborhoods on the west and north side which have often been resistant to change.

“The state is looking at us and saying you have to build more, you have to build more in your high resource areas, places that have good schools, places that have high quality public transit, places that have a higher income,” said Corey Smith of the Housing Action Coalition.

“And it’s time for Pac Heights to get apartments,” added Moss.

But part of that proposed expansion is facing some push back. Supervisor Aaron Peskin was able to pass a resolution that would impose density limits in several historic neighborhoods in his own district.

For example, developers were proposing adding a 24-story building where a two-story garage sits.

Another idea called for demolishing a building to add a 17-story high rise but because both are in a historic neighborhood, they are now protected.

“I think we can increase the amount of housing, affordable housing in San Francisco without destroying our neighborhoods,” said Peskin.

MORE: Medical professionals trying to meet health needs of San Francisco’s unhoused

Medical professionals are trying to meet the health needs of San Francisco’s unhoused population

Another option is to create more affordable housing along major commercial corridors like Geary Boulevard, Van Ness Avenue, and Church Street.

But some say there’s no point in building all these new units without bolstering public transportation to serve residents.

We asked Billy Riggs, a USF transportation and urban development professor what needs to happen.

“We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of new people living in the city. Now how are we going to do that? We have to start planning now how we invest in our infrastructure,” said Riggs.

MORE: Report ranks this Bay Area city as one of ‘best places to live’; local experts say it doesn’t add up

He says our current transit system doesn’t work for everyone because San Francisco doesn’t have the kind of integrated system like New York City does, that gets you everywhere, anytime.

“If you have to wait 20 minutes on a train, does that really work for you and for some people, particularly at the margins, we have vulnerable populations that 20 minutes late means you lose your job,” he added.

In order to meet the goal of 82,000 units in the next seven years, the city must build close to 12,000 units a year.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts

Compare Listings