Business journalist David Cay Johnston pitches the idea of building high-density apartment buildings at Candlestick Park instead of planned retail, offices and hotels. He says “Manhattanizing” the area could bring down housing prices across the city by adding 14,000 new units of housing.
New housing construction is blazing through the city’s eastern side, but not the west. Why? Residents say existing public transit is too poor to accommodate denser housing, which might also disrupt the neighborhood’s character. But minor tweaks to zoning regulations could add thousands of new apartments, and many would be priced below the market rate.
Cooperative housing managed by nonprofit organizations could substantially increase the availability of affordable housing in San Francisco, but progress has been stimied for years by lack of capital to buy buildings. Now policymakers in the city and at the state capital are devising ways to help them grow. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.
If San Francisco adhered strictly to state laws that grant residential developers considerable flexibility, it could increase housing density in upcoming projects by up to 35 percent. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.
By extending rent-control status to all existing apartments, like it did 35 years ago, the city could save the residents of as many as 50,000 apartments from today’s ballooning rental costs. But doing so might not make the city more affordable for the most economically vulnerable residents. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.
In Seattle, developers are racing to build miniature studios that average 150 square feet to absorb skyrocketing housing demand from young professionals. San Francisco could follow that example — but first, it would have to strike down a law passed two years ago. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.
Nonprofit housing developers across the city say they have been waiting for years to begin building more than 800 planned, permanently affordable homes. A housing bond could get those projects off the ground, but politicians have other priorities. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.
What if San Francisco took another stab at promoting live-work lofts by effectively targeting actual working artists? With enough funding, nonprofit organizations could house them in old, retrofitted commercial properties. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.
San Francisco is not the only city in a housing crisis. The multi-year plan proposed by Mayor Ed Lee bears some similarities to those proposed by Bill de Blasio, the new mayor of New York, where even last week a major initiative advanced to fix older affordable buildings. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.
City residents, advocates and experts gathered at “Hack the Housing Crisis” to come up with ways to make San Francisco more affordable and create space for new tenants. Possible solutions included building portable houses and creating social media websites where renters and landlords could connect. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.