SF Mayor pushing for charter amendment to streamline affordable housing process

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The mayor of San Francisco is pushing to pass a charter amendment to change the approval process for affordable and teacher housing. The goal is to eliminate delays and costs.

We've heard this before, teachers and many other residents are struggling to stay in San Francisco.

Don Krause is a teacher who is being evicted from the apartment he's lived in for 30 years.

"There's a mad dash to buy housing, it's been driving things through the roof and average working people can't afford to live here anymore," said Krause.

It's people like Krause that Mayor London Breed's charter amendment would help by streamlining the construction approval process when it comes to affordable housing.

"We're talking about hundreds and hundreds of apartments that didn't get built," said Sam Moss who is the executive director of Mission Housing Development Corporation.

Moss told us the one thing that has been standing in the way of building more affordable housing is the appeals process.

"Anyone could appeal, anyone with about $150 and enough time on their hands could appeal affordable housing," explained Moss.

Fighting an appeal takes lawyers, staff time, you have to redraw documents and the longer the appeal of course construction costs will go up. This amendment would eliminate all of that.

"If the charter amendment passes there won't be an appeals process. It will go away," added Moss.

Moss took us to an affordable housing project in North Beach built several years ago. At the time, the builders held meeting after meeting with the community and ended up conforming to their wishes. The project took longer and ended up costing more.

But what if the appeal process had not existed back then?

"They would have been allowed to be another 10 feet and they would have been able to build it, done, no appeals, no worries," said Moss.

Mayor London Breed wants to get this on the November ballot. For that, she will need six votes from the Board of Supervisors. This needs to happen on or before July 25th.

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