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Ballot measure aims to make The City’s housing affordable

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A ballot initiative that a city legislator said will make San Francisco more affordable ignited a heated debate Thursday.

Supervisor Bevan Dufty has authored a June ballot measure that would give developers who agree to build below-market-rate family-size units the ability to build more units per project site than current planning rules allow.

On Thursday,at a Board of Supervisors committee meeting, members of the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition, or MAC, an advocacy group that aims to keep working-class people in San Francisco, said the measure would not produce enough affordable housing to justify the density bonuses it offered developers — and said they would oppose it.

The measure has the support of the Residential Builders Association, one of the group’s leaders, Sean Keighran, told supervisors at the meeting. Developers would be allowed to put more units into a project site if they provide two- or three-bedroom below-market-rate housing units on-site to meet city laws that require developers to offer 15 of the units on a project site at below-market rate.

The “inclusionary housing” law, also gives developers the choice to pay in-lieu fees, or build the below-market-rate units off-site, if the units are 20 percent of the project total.

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Planning Department staffer Anmarie Rodgers said density increases would vary. For example, she said a parcel at 24th Street near Noe Street would allow four 1,000-square-foot housing units and if the measure passes five could be allowed, while the nine units allowed one a parcel at Larkin Street near Eddy Street could be increased to 16 units.

Dufty, addressing his critics, said that he had “recognized the frustration of affordable housing developers, both the nonprofits and other advocacy groups, and supported Supervisor Chris Daly’s measure for a [affordable housing] set aside which has certainly won me a lot of dissatisfaction from certain people in this building.”

Dufty was referring to a charter amendment Daly authored that would require The City to spend $2.7 billion on below-market-rate housing during the next 15 years.


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