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SF Planning Explains the Housing Crisis in Activisty New Video

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The Planning Department, which usually speaks in the form of case reports and hearings, has created a video in support of its 2014 Housing Element Update that feels almost activisty. The Housing Element is a document, updated every five years, that lays out the city's housing needs and how San Francisco can meet those needs. This year's document outlines the need for more housing, as does the video in support of it. The video states, "If we don't plan for and produce housing along with population growth, the price of housing will only increase."

Planning's video provides a summary of the reasons for the city's dramatic housing price increases. The population has increased by 24 percent since 1980 while housing has increased by only 19 percent. Today the Bay Area as a whole has a population of 7.2 million people and 3.5 million jobs; by 2040, projections put us at 9.3 million people and 4.5 million jobs. With population increases continuing, Planning makes what in San Francisco is actually a controversial case: that the only solution for the housing situation is to increase the amount of housing in the city. As things stand now, only one-sixth of San Francisco residents can afford to buy a median-priced home.

The video also touches on the facts behind below-market-rate housing ("affordable" basically means a family's housing costs are less than one-third of its monthly income) and offers a primer on SF's inclusionary housing rules. Think of it as a more strident (and statsy) companion piece to TechCrunch and AOL's short film delving into the personal stories of San Franciscans on different sides of the housing crisis.

· Planning Department Lays Out SF's Housing Predicament [SFHAC]
· Housing Element Update 2014 [SF Planning]
· Video: Let's Have an Honest Conversation About the Housing Shortage, Shall We? [Curbed SF]