Mayor London Breed announced Thursday she has tapped Judson True to serve in a newly created position as Director of Housing Delivery to expedite the construction of homes.
True, who has served as Assemblymember David Chiu’s chief of staff since 2014, will start in January.
The position, which Breed announced in October, is intended to ensure her goal of creating 5,000 units of housing annually is met. She wants to the cut in half the time it takes developers to obtain construction permits after Planning Commission approval for large and mid-sized projects.
“We are not building enough homes for the people who so badly need them to live in this city,” True said in a statement. “San Francisco is poised to create thousands of homes, including a significant percentage of affordable housing. But for housing production to truly be a top priority, we must try new approaches and not accept the delays that keep homes unbuilt.”
He previously served as a legislative aide for Chiu when he was president of the Board of Supervisors and as a communications and government affairs manager for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
“Judson True is a highly-respected public servant with extensive experience in local and state government,” Breed said in a statement “We are in the middle of a housing crisis that is a result of not creating enough housing for decades. We need to streamline our overly-complicated approval and permitting system, and I know that Judson has both the expertise and the experience to ensure that we create the housing that San Franciscans so desperately need.”
True’s tasks will include ushering individual developments through the permitting process, which can require approval by eight different city departments, and implementing a digital application system for the departments to review the proposals simultaneously. His salary is $188,000 plus benefits.
Breed’s announcement said that affordable and market-rate housing proposals are often delayed by the approval process that “jeopardize the financing of new projects, make that financing more expensive, and result in them being abandoned altogether.”
“True will be charged with managing a Housing Delivery Team to move housing projects forward faster and tasked with implementing necessary administrative changes to streamline the permitting process,” the announcement said.
True, a Hayes Valley resident who is married to Breed’s deputy chief of staff, Andrea Bruss, was previously considered in July as a possible mayoral appointment to the District 5 seat on the board vacated by Breed when she became mayor. Breed instead appointed her former legislative aide Vallie Brown to that post.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include True’s salary.