Housing Balance Report Scathing

October 19th, 2015 No Comments »


The city’s Housing Balance Report, a critical document that shows how under the Lee administration, the affordable housing situation is getting way worse, comes before the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee Monday/19.

The report, which is part of the committee packet, is scathing: It shows that the net balance of affordable housing in the city is dropping, and that the projects currently in the pipeline are only going to make things worse.

From the Council of Community Housing Organizations:

This report shows that our affordable housing situation is only getting worse – the citywide housing balance of net new affordable housing from 2005-2015 dropped to a new low of 15.2%, down from the previous July report of 16%! Across the City there is a great need to correct an imbalance of low and moderate income housing compared to the rate of market rate housing.

And the future looks even worse, based on the entitlement “pipeline” of projects, the city is slated to produce only 13% affordable housing moving forward. We are far behind the goal of minimum 33% affordable housing for low and moderate income San Franciscans set by the voters in Proposition K last year, and unfortunately only getting worse.

“There are a lot of numbers thrown around these days about housing goals and aspirations of an affordable city for all, but as it is said, ‘torture numbers and they’ll tell you anything,’” commented Peter Cohen, co-director of the Council of Community Housing Organizations.  Cohen added, “Here in this Housing Balance Report authored by the Planning Department we have the real story. This is from the City’s own building permit data, and the City’s own planning pipeline data, and the City’s own rent board data. It doesn’t get more truthful than this. 15.2% affordable and dropping! We as a city have a long way to go to climb out of this hole.”

The problem is not just about production – these Housing Balance Report numbers make clear how the loss of protected rental units completely undermines the City’s efforts to build more affordable housing.  The calculated affordable housing balance is actually negative in 8 out of the 11 supervisorial districts! Sara Shortt, the director of Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco reacted to the Report saying: “I don’t think there’s any more compelling evidence than this that makes clear the siege of gentrification in San Francisco.”

— Aaron Goodman

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