© 2024 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

San Francisco starts fast-tracking housing development

A neighborhood in San Francisco.
Michaela Seah / KALW
Michaela Seah / KALW
A neighborhood in San Francisco.

Developers plan to construct large housing projects in San Francisco, including a 200-unit apartment building on Market Street.

These development plans follow a new state-wide law that speeds up the approval process for building permits. Before, it would take about two years for approval in San Francisco, the longest in the state. Now, it can take as little as six months.

This is because the law, according to its author, state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, ensures “none of the politics at the Board of Supervisors, you just get your damn permit.”

San Francisco is the first city to be affected, because of failures to meet the statewide housing mandate. The city was supposed to build around 10,000 housing units a year. Halfway through this year, and the city has met less than a 10th of that goal.

A similar bill was passed in 2017, but mostly applied to affordable units. This new law will now streamline plans for market rate units, so only 10 percent of units have to be affordable in order to apply.

Supporters say this will streamline much needed housing. But opponents worry the law will mostly be used to build luxury units, which could magnify issues of gentrification.

Hi everyone! I (she/they) am a Bay Area native, multimedia journalist, and latte enthusiast.