Many of the recently proposed Group Housing developments in San Francisco, with shared kitchens and living areas, have been positioned as creative solutions to maximize density and minimize rents in response to the City’s current housing crisis.
But with the addition of “kitchenettes,” which aren’t technically kitchens, a number of the proposed projects are effectively buildings filled with studios which were creatively designed with shared kitchens and living areas on the floor plans in order to circumvent San Francisco’s Inclusionary Housing (BMR) Program and unit mix requirements which don’t currently apply when the “Group Housing” tag is attached.
Originally intended as incentives to spur the development of lower-cost housing units, a proposed ordinance to close the so-called Group Housing loopholes could be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission in three weeks time.
The proposed ordinance would require Group Housing projects with ten or more units to either fund or include below market rate units as part of the development. And the affordable units would be required to be two or three bedrooms and remain permanently affordable for the life of the project.
Don’t be surprised if a number of previously proposed group housing projects have a market driven change of heart if the new ordinance is approved.