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Density Bonus for Affordable Housing At SF Planning Today

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The latest controversial measure to head before the San Francisco Planning Department is the so-called density bonus, or Affordable Housing Bonus Program. In a nutshell, the program allows taller buildings to be constructed in exchange for building more affordable units. New housing built along certain city streets would be allowed to add two stories if 30 percent of the newly built units are reserved for low- or middle-income residents.

Under the guidelines of the plan, 18 percent of units would be for middle-income residents, while 12 percent would be for low- or moderate-income. Builders working on 100 percent affordable housing would be allowed to add three stories. Neighborhoods most affected by the changes would be the Western Addition, the Bayview, and the Inner Richmond. The program is designed to target neighborhoods that are near transit. It would also bring San Francisco into compliance with a state program that requires increased density incentives for developers who build more below-market-rate housing.

That doesn't mean that this will be an easy win. Homeowners in neighborhoods where density will be increased have been out speaking against the program at public hearings. Today's meeting is a review, and on January 28 the Commission will vote on the proposal.

· Affordable Housing Bonus Program [SF Planning]
· Sunset Neighbors Grumble as S.F. Pushes for Denser Housing on the West Side [SF Business Times]