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Prop. C approval enables legislators to set affordable housing requirements

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City legislators once again have the power to adjust affordable housing requirements in new developments after voters appear to have passed Proposition C with 67.27 percent of the vote.

Prop. C returns authority from voters to the Board of Supervisors to change the number of affordable homes — known as inclusionary housing — mandated in residential projects of certain sizes.

RELATED: San Francisco Election Coverage: June 7, 2016

Legislation that’s put into effect following approval of Prop. C requires projects with at least 25 homes to include 25 percent of those units as below market-rate, including 15 percent for low-income residents and 10 percent for middle-income residents.

The legislation also requires the City Controller to conduct feasibility studies of affordable housing requirements to impact if and when the board adjusts the 25 percent inclusionary housing rate.

The measure marked yet another proposal to address the lack of San Francisco homes available to low-income residents. While San Francisco has built 4,300 below-market-rate homes in the past decade, it has also lost 3,200 of such homes in the same period.

Meanwhile, the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment has surpassed $3,500.

Skeptics of the legislation that requires 25 percent of affordable homes in new developments criticized that number as arbitrary.

But Supervisor Jane Kim was quick to justify the 25 percent because The City needs more affordable homes.

“Market-rate today in your average condo being built in South of Market [or] Mission Bay is 270 percent of [area] median income,” Kim said previously. “That means if you are a household of four, two adults, two kids, you are making $270,000 a year. That is who the market is building for today.”

The board would determine the new number of inclusionary homes required using a feasibility study that’s mandated in the measure as well, but interim rates already approved by the board would be put into effect pending approval of Prop. C.

Currently, projects with at least 10 homes are required to offer 12 percent of those homes at below market-rate. Developers may also pay a fee or build 20 percent of the homes as affordable off-site.

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