Mayor Breed launches Housing For All plan

San Francisco Mayor London Breed
File photo/www.sf.gov

Housing for All sets the course for the implementation of San Francisco’s ambitious plan to allow for 82,000 new homes over the next 8 years

SAN FRANCISCO – On Tuesday, February 7, Mayor London Breed launched Housing for All, a strategy to fundamentally change how San Francisco approves and builds housing. Housing for All is the implementing strategy for the recently certified Housing Element, which sets the goals and policies to allow for 82,000 new homes to be built over the next 8 years. Housing for All consists of administrative reforms, legislative actions, and government accountability actions.

To initiate Housing for All, Mayor Breed issued an Executive Directive Tuesday to City Departments detailing the immediate actions of this strategy. The Housing for All Executive Directive consists of three areas of focus:

  • Creating Accountability and Oversight for Implementation of the Housing Element
  • Requiring Administrative Departmental Actions
  • Setting Initial Legislative Actions and Timelines.

The immediate actions in the Executive Directive lays the groundwork for the City to unlock its housing pipeline, accelerate the approval of new housing projects, and create additional capacity for all types of housing across San Francisco.

“San Francisco has the opportunity to make a transformation in how we build housing for everyone in our city – for workers, for seniors, for families, everyone,” said Mayor Breed. “With our approved Housing Element, we have the plan. Now we need to put it into action, which require us to change our thinking and do things totally different than we have in the past. Housing for All is about doing the long, hard work to deliver on our commitments to be a city that can embrace and tackle an ambitious goal of 82,000 new homes built in 8 years. We can and should be a city that is a leader on housing.”

The Housing for All Executive Directive takes place immediately and directs Departments to do the following:

Create Housing Element accountability, oversight 

Directs the creation of a centralized authority and oversight for the implementation of Housing Element policies and actions, including a centralized Interagency Implementation Team to which all departments are accountable and convening city leadership, staff, policymakers, affordable housing advocates, and industry experts to collaborate on an Affordable Housing Implementation and Funding Strategy.

Require administrative departmental actions

Charges all City Departments with the responsibility for achieving the goals and actions set forth in San Francisco’s Housing Element. This includes requiring the Departments to complete a Housing Delivery Performance Assessment and Improvement Plan as well as certain additional steps related to removing barriers to housing.

Set initial legislative actions and timeline

To ensure that the city acts promptly to reform the policies and processes that pose the greatest barriers to housing production, relevant departments are directed to complete the following Housing Element initial implementing actions, including to:

  • Reform restrictive zoning controls
  • Reduce procedural requirements that impede housing production
  • Revise inclusionary housing requirements
  • Remove barriers for office-to-residential conversions
  • Create new funding mechanisms to unlock the housing pipeline
  • Standardize and reduce impact fees.

Each of these legislative actions has specified timelines, with some being introduced within the next two weeks.

The executive directive can be seen at https://sf.gov/sites/default/files/2023-02/Executive%20Directive%2023-01_Housing%20for%20All.pdf.

San Francisco city officials and Senator Scott Wiener expressed their thoughts and congratulated Mayor Breed on the launching of Housing For All.

“I congratulate Mayor Breed on this urgently needed plan,” said Senator Scott Wiener. “Weeks ago, San Francisco adopted an historic Housing Element that will begin to reverse the decades of inaction that created our severe housing shortage. This plan is a bold step to ensure the city is held accountable to meeting that goal.”

“San Francisco needs to act quickly to change how we get housing approved and built,” said District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey. “For too long we’ve ignored our need for housing for the people who live and work in this city, which contributes to so many of our city’s greatest challenges. Mayor Breed’s Executive Directive sets the course for what we need to do, and I look forward to working with the Mayor, city staff and my colleagues to pass the laws necessary to get this city moving in the right direction when it comes to housing.”

“This is the next step in bringing the Housing Element’s vision to life,” said Rich Hillis, Director of Planning. “We take our responsibility to deliver on these commitments seriously, and I’m excited to begin this critical implementing work in lockstep with our partner agencies.”

“The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development has worked closely with the Planning Department to develop policy objectives that reinforce its practices and programs that support the construction of new affordable housing, housing preservation, and community stabilization,” said Eric Shaw, Director at the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. “We look forward to continuing our work in collaboration with the state and with our agency and community partners to accelerate delivery of San Francisco’s affordable housing pipeline.”

“Everyone knows San Francisco’s exceptional permitting timeline is a major hurdle to building more homes in the city,” said Jane Natoli, San Francisco Organizing Director of YIMBY Action. “Mayor Breed’s executive order gets to the heart of that and other problems under our control and we applaud the efforts to streamline housing production.” (SF Mayor’s Office Release)

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