Prop C increases affordable housing for San Franciscans.
It’s a real solution to our housing crisis that is paid for by private developers not taxpayers.

 

Background

Inclusionary housing policy ensures that private developers include housing in their developments that is affordable to diverse, mixed-income communities. In 2002, then-Supervisor Mark Leno authored and passed San Francisco’s first inclusionary housing ordinance, requiring market-rate developers of buildings larger than 10 units to provide 12% of their units at prices affordable to low-income residents. This was increased to 15% in 2007, which was the requirement until 2012, when it was lowered to 12% and future changes limited by placing the requirements into the Charter.

The Problem with the Current Law

The City’s inclusionary housing rate was lowered to 12% during recessionary times and locked into the City Charter. So as development has boomed and housing prices have skyrocketed, our elected leaders have been unable to make adjustments that keep pace with economic conditions.  Even while luxury housing is being built throughout the city, San Franciscans are being forced out due to lack of affordable housing.

One immediate way to address this is to require private developers to contribute their fair share to housing our City’s resident workforce and building truly mixed-income communities, by increasing the affordable housing requirements. That’s the Prop C solution.  

The Prop C Solution

Proposition C significantly increases affordable housing requirements for projects of 25 or more units:  

  • Increases on-site affordable housing requirements from 12% to 25%.  Prop C returns the on-site requirement to 15% affordable for low-income households, and adds a new 10% affordable to moderate/middle-income households.
  • Establishes the first-ever requirement for affordable housing for middle-income households.  Prop C mandates that at least 10% of on-site units be affordable to moderate/middle-income households, allowing San Franciscans earning salaries in the range of public service workers, clerical workers, school teachers, and bus drivers, to find stable long-term housing in the City.
  • Encourages developers to opt for on-site mixed-income housing.  For those developers who elect not to provide mixed-income affordable housing on-site, Prop C increases the amounts for an “in-lieu” fee and an off-site development alternative from 20 to 33 percent.

Proposition C also amends the City Charter, restoring the ability of the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor to change affordable housing requirements by ordinance.  This is an essential “good government” provision that lets the city match housing requirements with future economic conditions; determine need and household income levels by neighborhood; and ensure that the maximum number of affordable units are built. 

More details are provided in the Digest by the Ballot Simplification Committee.