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Proposal could create 33K new rent-controlled homes

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San Francisco may allow property owners throughout The City to create accessory dwelling units, previously called in-laws units, to existing buildings, potentially adding up to 33,000 more homes covered by rent control laws.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced the legislation Tuesday after announcing March 1 he was drafting the proposal.

Peskin’s proposal would also prohibit the newly created units from being used as short-term rentals through services like Airbnb, according to the legislation.

Peskin said his effort is meant to address San Francisco’s affordability crisis.

“These are for real people who live in San Francisco. We are not trying to create 30,000 new hotel rooms,” he told the San Francisco Examiner.

Additionally, property owners couldn’t create these type of units if it would reduce existing commercial square footage in neighborhood commercial corridors.

Buildings with records of evictions within five or 10 years, depending on the type, couldn’t take advantage of the proposed change.

The effort builds on those of other city officials, including Peskin when he previously served as a supervisor, to create more below-market-rate housing.

The addition of accessory dwelling units was recently allowed in District 8 under an effort by Supervisor Scott Wiener and later by Supervisor Julie Christensen in District 3, before she lost her seat on the board last November to Peskin.

“Unlike the [Affordable Housing Bonus Program], we can do something without threatening existing neighborhood character, without the threat of displacement to small businesses or existing residents, all the while increasing the amount of existing rent-controlled housing,” said Peskin on March 1.

The Affordable Housing Bonus Program is a controversial proposal that allows developers who include more below-market-rate housing to build taller or denser buildings, The program is slated to go before the Board of Supervisors for hearings in the coming weeks.

Peskin called his proposal “pragmatic infill strategy.”

In a statement Tuesday, Gabe Metcalf, executive director of public-policy think-tank SPUR, said, “Supervisor Peskin’s legislation aligns with SPUR’s agenda to address the housing affordability crisis in San Francisco. The legislation will add and preserve affordable housing supply to a desperate market.”

Muni training facility

Also Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors postponed a vote on a proposed new costly Muni driver training facility until April 5.

Several board members raised concerns in recent weeks about the deal, which would have the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency paying $2 million more annually to train drivers than currently spent by the agency in leasing a 7-acre site at 30 Tanforan Ave. in South San Francisco.

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  • David

    ADU’s added to older multi-family buildings will be rent controlled, but according to the planning department’s guidebook ADU’s added to single family homes will only inherit the eviction control of the original unit but not gain rent control. I’m dubious we’ll see 33k units in older multifamily buildings added. That would be a huge percentage, especially since the unit needs to be brought up to current building codes which can be super expensive (e.g. adding sprinkler systems, fixing ceiling heights)

  • Howard Epstein

    Anyone who would put a building or a portion of a building under SF’s rent control is a fool. They will lose control of their property.

  • HowDairBNB

    What is going to stop the property owner from deciding “OH boy, I can add another airbnb room?

  • Jon Schwark

    Yeah. more likely number over 10 years would be like 200

  • mossy buddha

    yes, its been absolutely terrible for me to collect thousands of dollars in rent per year.

  • Michael

    … and be allowed to legally increase the rent as much as inflation, the horror!

  • Yonathan Randolph

    It is already much easier to get the permits to construct a bedroom to rent out on Airbnb than it is to get permits for an in-law unit with kitchen. And under the short-term rental ordinance, landlords who go the route of getting a legal in-law unit will not be able to get a short-term rental registration, unless they themselves live in the in-law unit. Therefore, any additional prohibition on registering an in-law unit for short-term rental only makes it illegal for the people who live in the in-law unit from ever renting it out when they are away.

  • Helen Steeply

    Actually, only 60% of inflation.

    But hey, who’s counting? We have landlords to demonize!

  • Bill Harkins

    If I have it right you need to live in the unit to airbnb enough nights to beat what you could get at market rent annually for a studio anywhere is this area. Peskin seems to be taking something someone else’s idea plus screwing landlords just enough with pointless extra rules that will end result in no property owner actually building one of these. Why not make the idea more inviting to landlords with a fast permit process and smile rather then yet another set of rules that leave few open to being landlords?

  • rich12

    Any property owner who would voluntarily put his property under the rent ordinance should be checked for dementia.

  • mossy buddha

    last i checked i’m still sane. owning rental property in SF – rent controlled or not – is a virtual license to print money. tens of thousands of dollars per year, simply for existing…

  • Michael

    I don’t know why it’s 60% but look, rental property is different than your average good and service, it’s a home. It’s not right to lose a home and be displaced from the city or region due to one economic sector’s bubble reality. I hope any landlord can empathize with the harsh reality their tenants face. Over the past decade I’ve had maybe two COL raises going up 2%, but my apartment in San Mateo Co went up 50% and it became unbearable.

  • Helen Steeply

    It’s very obvious that you do not own rental property.

  • mamiel

    We are going through this process now (legalizing an illegal unit) and, yes, it’s very expensive and has taken more than a year winding through the permitting office. Almost not worth it, really. They made us do stupid things. like put a tree in front of our house. Good enough, we’ll put in the tree we thought. Nope, they said. You have to do the tree through a certain city office and it takes at least 3 months of waiting and you can’t do any other work until the tree is there. That is the kind of craziness you deal with.

    Not to mention we already have a banana tree in front of the house, but that doesn’t count according to city planning because it’s a “plant” and not a “tree”

    If you are thinking of doing this don’t bother unless you’re made of money and have years to burn.

  • mossy buddha

    Thank you for confidently making statements you know nothing about.

  • David

    Thanks for describing what you’re going through. That sounds ridiculous.