San Francisco misses CA's housing mandate deadline, has 1 month to get into compliance

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
SF misses CA's housing mandate deadline. Here's what that means
The city of San Francisco just missed its deadline to pass an ordinance to build more housing, which could prompt a standoff with state regulators.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The city of San Francisco just missed a deadline that could prompt a standoff with state regulators. The issue is how to build more housing.

At risk - millions of dollars of state funding and local control over how to do that.

San Francisco faces a tough task -- trying to meet the state's mandate to accommodate 82,000 new housing units in the next eight years.

"This is about whether people are going to have a place to live. We are short millions of homes," said state Senator Scott Wiener.

MORE: State warns SF it may lose funding if city doesn't meet housing goal

California YIMBY works with state legislators and regulators to try and help end the housing shortage and affordability crisis.

"A recent audit by the state found that no city takes longer to approve housing," said Matthew Lewis with California YIMBY. "Those long delays and long timelines - up to three years in some cases."

The California Department of Housing and Community Development or HCD gave San Francisco and its Board of Supervisors one month -- until Nov. 27 -- to pass Mayor London Breed's "Constraints Reduction Ordinance."

The legislation would have removed red tape and made it easier for housing projects to move forward without a planning commission hearing.

MORE: Story of vacant lot on SF's Nob Hill could help explain city's ongoing housing crisis

Missing the deadline means:

"The city could you lose state funding for housing projects and transportation projects. It could lose its land use authority," said Lewis.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin is pushing a resolution that would extend the deadline.

Meanwhile, Reina Tello is with Communities United for Health and Justice.

MORE: The challenges San Francisco faces converting office space into residential units

She doesn't agree with the state mandate requiring 82,000 units in eight years.

"It's 'build, build, build, will solve everything.' Really it's a false solution," said Reina Tello with Communities for Health and Justice. "We don't have a housing shortage. We have an affordability crisis right now and that can't be solved by building more units that are unaffordable."

While the state housing regulation deadline is Nov. 27, the law allows the city another 30 days to comply with the mandate.

That means the Board of Supervisors have until late December to get into compliance.

"Right now, if the Board of Supervisors acts expeditiously, can avoid having a decertified housing plan. But, it needs to act quickly and stop playing games," said Wiener.

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