Unless youâ€™re already a property owner, things are not getting any easier in San Francisco. Rents rose nearly 14.9 percent from January 2014 to January 2015. San Francisco permitted just 193 new units for every 1,000 new residents from 2012 to 2013, according to Zillow. Only 16% of the current development pipeline is â€œaffordableâ€ affordable-,… Continue reading San Francisco’s Housing Crisis: Let’s try everything
Ed Lee touted San Francisco’s down payment assistance program in his State of the City address this week. How well does it really work in an incredibly expensive real estate market like San Francisco? Assume a couple with no kids is making 120% of the median income, which is the maximum you can make to… Continue reading Ed Lee’s plans for “middle class” home buying & the math
I spotted the following headline today on SF Gate: Supervisor wants S.F. to follow state on reforming initiativesÂ and it immediately reminded me that I’d been working on a recap of a number of the planning-related issues that have come up on local ballots recently. Supervisor Wiener’s suggestions make a lot of sense: they both create… Continue reading San Francisco, where urban planning meets the ballot box
Last December, SF Mayor Ed Lee announced a Mayoral Executive Directive ordering all city departments with jurisdiction over housing permitting to prioritize housing construction, particularly for affordable housing, and his state of the city address in January called for 30,000 units of new housing by 2020 with 1/3 of them built as permanently affordable.Â Come hear… Continue reading 30,000 units of housing by 2020 and James Baldwin looks at race relations in 1963 San Francisco
â€œLet the voters decideâ€ has a certain immediate appeal. It implies that the will of the people will guide public decisions and create a more just and fair city for all. Thatâ€™s the idea at least. The reality usually ends up looking a lot messier. To say nothing of the huge structural issues direct democracy… Continue reading The Unintended Effects of Direct Democracy: Say “no” to ballot box planning on Proposition B June 3rd.
Oh boy. There is no easy answer to this question, but protests in front of buses are certainly not going to solve the problemÂ because it’s a problem that goes beyond the boundaries of the City of San Francisco. Saying that tech companies owe a billion dollars for doing curbside pickup are completely ignoring reality and… Continue reading Why have the tech buses invaded San Francisco?
My posts on housing costs have gained a lot of attention in the last week or two, and there have been a lot of comments. I decided to respond to Peter Cohen’s comments in this post, because his comments are similar to others I have heard on Twitter and elsewhere from people in the housing… Continue reading Housing Costs Controversy and the Math of BMR Ownership
There were a number of suggestions from readers, via both the blog comments and Twitter, on how we could build cheaper multifamily housing. Here are a few ideas with my thoughts: Prefabrication – Most large projects already take advantage of this to some degree. Many contractors pre-frame wood walls in a factory and crane them… Continue reading How can we build cheaper urban housing?
The theme of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale this year is â€œSpontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.â€ Cathy Lang Ho, who helped to select the participants, discusses the criteria and the approach in this article over at the Architect Magazine site. This is hardly the first post about spontaneous or… Continue reading This is not Guerilla Urbanism: Architecture of resistance and capitulation
Okay, I admit I’m posting this a bit late. I have been really busy and we actually had some hot weather for the first time in about a year last weekend, so I haven’t been blogging. Last week, Caltrans (the California department of transportation) threw a festive gathering in front of my office to celebrate… Continue reading Governor Schwarzenegger Opens a new Overpass