Mayor Ed Lee and Board of Supervisors President London Breed have officially called for a 2016 ballot measure to increase the required percentage of below market rate (BMR) units of housing private developers must provide or fund when building market-rate units in San Francisco.
“In prosperous times like these, we can require developers to build even more housing for lower and middle income residents as part of any new project, especially large new development projects,” said Mayor Lee. “I am confident that working together with the Board of Supervisors and the housing community we can create a consensus charter amendment for the November 2016 ballot that increases inclusionary requirements in a strong economy and shortens the timeline for new housing construction and development.”
Market-rate projects with ten or more units in San Francisco are currently required to provide 12 percent of the units at below market rates (BMR), build an equivalent of 20 percent affordable units off-site, or pay into an affordable housing fund.
Mayor Lee plans to reconvene a working group of City officials, housing advocates, community leaders and representatives from different sectors of the real estate industry to draft the Charter Amendment for the ballot measure, starting next month.
As always, the devil will be in the details. And don’t be surprised if the proposed measure raises the required affordability limits, not to mention height limits, along with the required allocations, a move which could produce more expensive ‘affordable’ units to the benefit of the private development teams.