Markets & Economy

San Francisco’s affordability solution: Increase density

New initiative recommends removing restrictions in certain neighborhoods

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Takeaways: A study of 30,800 San Francisco parcels found that 240 "soft" sites have the potential to deliver 5,000 affordable units and 11,000 market-rate homes if density limits were removed. The program suggests removing density restrictions in nonplanned area neighborhoods in exchange for developers delivering 30 percent on-site affordable housing. Projects that featured 100 percent affordable housing would have an option to build three additional floors, if needed, and receive extended entitlements up to 10 years. It’s no secret: San Francisco is an expensive place to live, especially when it comes to rents. Zillow recently found that renters, on average, contribute nearly 50 percent of their monthly income to housing in the city. To combat this affordability issue, a recent study of 30,800 parcels -- located in parts of San Francisco that have not been rezoned since the 1970s -- found that 240 "soft" sites have the potential to deliver 5,000 affordable unit...