Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Supervisor Kim proposes ordinance seeking a balance between market rate, below market rate housing

Posted By on Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge Jane Kim
  • courtesy photo
  • Supervisor Jane Kim aims to balance the local housing market with a new ordinance.
Seeking to maintain a housing balance in San Francisco’s District 6, today Supervisor Jane Kim will introduce an ordinance requiring market-rate housing projects to acquire conditional-use permits if the cumulative below-market-rate housing in the district dips below 30 percent.

District 6, which includes the Tenderloin, mid-Market Street and South of Market areas, has not only the lowest median household income citywide but the most new development projects, under construction. From 2006 to 2013, the district maintained below-market-rate housing at 29 percent, slightly lower than the citywide average of 29.9 percent, according to Kim’s office.

Kim’s Housing Balance ordinance aims to preserve a ratio of 30 percent below-market-rate housing to 70 percent market-rate housing in the district. If at least 30 percent of housing is not maintained at below market rate, the ordinance would require conditional-use permits for market-rate housing developments.

“This legislation is not about stopping production,” Kim said. “It’s about continuing to encourage production but ensuring a floor of housing is being produced for residents and families with incomes of 0 to 120 percent of the [area median income].”

According to the Planning Department’s quarterly residential pipeline report, from 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2013, The City built 190 percent of the state-determined regional housing needed for people above 120 percent of the area median income, 18 percent of the housing need for middle-income people and 43.6 percent of the housing need for low-income people.

In District 6, which has the lowest median household income citywide at $38,610, 22 percent of residents are living below the poverty line, according to Kim’s office. The supervisor said her district is the first in The City to propose a housing balance plan, and that the ordinance had been in the works for more than two and a half years.

The ordinance is encouraging, said Peter Cohen, co-director of the San Francisco Council of Community Housing Organizations.

“There’s been a lot of talk over the last year in this very, very hot market about housing for all and a balance of housing needs but unfortunately we don’t have any mechanisms that really ensure that kind of outcome,” Cohen said. “So the intent here of the supervisor is to create that kind of expectation and give some real meaning to the notion of a balance.”

The ordinance will be considered by the Planning Commission and Kim said she hopes it will come back to the Board of Supervisors by June.

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About The Author

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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