1540 Market Street, Suite 100
SF, CA 94102
Sounding great is the best thing we can say about this proposal, because what it actually does is kill projects and increase displacement by 4%.
Read Ted Egan's (the SF City Economist) report on the effect of Prop C here. The results of the report are illustrated to the left and below this text. The report says that for each thousand homes that would be produced (in the future) if we kept the BMR percentage at 12%, if we increase the BMR percentage to 25% only 865 homes would be produced. That's a 13.5% drop in overall housing production.
Where will the 310 people who would have lived in those homes live instead? (In 2014 the average amount of people per household was 2.3.) They don't disappear just because we don't build for them. If they are middle or low income, they will themselves be displaced. If they are high income, they will turn their attention to existing housing in SF, and displace a lower income person from existing housing.
Prop C would increase the number of subsidized, below market rate homes. BMR homes absolutely save people from being displaced, but the amount of new BMR homes produced by Prop C falls short of the new need for homes created by Prop C. Per thousand homes produced going forward under the current BMR percentage, if we switched to the new percentage we only get an extra 96 BMR homes. In other words, Prop C is 96 steps forward, 135 steps back.
Another way to think about the affect of Prop C is by looking at the ratio of new BMR homes to lost Market Rate (MR) homes. The "cost" of one BMR home should be one MR home. That's just redistribution. If the ratio was 1:1, we would be moving housing from one income level to another, and neither creating nor destroying housing in the process. However, under Prop C, the cost of one BMR home is 2.4 MR homes (96 new BMRs would be created, 231 fewer MR homes would be created).
Imagine going to the Sunset, or the Excelsior, and buying 5 ordinary homes, tearing them down, and building in their place 2 homes for low income people, and leaving three empty lots. Is that an improvement? That is the policy that Prop C would advance.
March 8th Public Comment:
Because developers were bought off with the grandfathering, the June ballot measure to raise the below market rate percentage to 25% doesn't have organized opposition besides us, and ...
C. Affordable Housing. San Francisco has a front-burner housing crisis that’s producing evictions, sky-high rents and family flight. This sweeping measure rightly hands the job of setting the amount of subsidized housing in new developments to the Board of Supervisors and removes it from the ironclad city charter.
But it bumps the amount of below-market units required in residential buildings from 12 to 25 percent. This target, grabbed from thin air by boosters, could crater future housing plans. But developers aren’t saying a peep because a long pipeline of projects in the approval queue is getting a pass. Also, Prop. C backers say they may revise the 25 percent figure if a study by the city controller shows the number will harm building. That’s a only a promise, though.
The ingredients are a tribute to Peskin’s artful arm-twisting. The results show how savvy he is: two influential endorsers — the local Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research organization, whose leaders would be expected to oppose a risky housing nostrum — are going neutral. Their silence can’t disguise the risks in this housing plan. Vote NO.