In the midst of the Bay Area's housing shortage, recent decisions in Washington, D.C. have made it even harder to address our region's housing needs. Come learn the latest on tax reform, the federal budget and the policy actions that are affecting the future of the housing market. Leading experts will discuss how these actions impact our ability to create and maintain effective housing policies and much-needed affordable housing.
+ Ophelia Basgal / UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation
+ Matt Schwartz / California Housing Partnership
Several major mixed-use development projects slated for SF's southern bayfront hit significant milestones this fall. Forest City won final approvals from the SF Board of Supervisors for Pier 70, a 28-acre redevelopment in the Dogpatch. The Giants’ 28-acre Mission Rock mixed-use development near AT&T Park was approved by the Planning Commission and heads to the Port Commission next. BUILD's India Basin, a 38-acre project further south along the bayfront, is anticipated to get approvals in the first quarter of 2018. Together these projects could create up to 4.25 million square feet of commercial office and retail, nearly 5,000 housing units, many of them affordable, and 50 acres of parks and open space. Meanwhile, environmental review has kicked off for the former Potrero Power Plant redevelopment proposed by Meg Whitman and Associate Capital. And the Warriors’ Chase Center has reached 25 percent completion.
Learn more about the southern bayfront - oewd.org/southernbayfront
"In order to support the most effective policy solutions to homelessness, we must begin by trying to understand the state of the problem in the Bay Area today and developing a common understanding of its root causes. While it has made some policy mistakes in the past, the Bay Area has some of the country’s most forward-thinking organizations working on homelessness. With stronger political leadership, greater accountability, better coordination, sufficient funding and broader community support, we can come a lot closer to ending it."
The Bay Area has one of the largest and least sheltered homeless populations in the country. Over the past year, the SPUR Board of Directors convened a study group to learn more about homelessness — both its causes and its possible solutions.
San Francisco will soon adopt the Central SoMa Plan, the city’s only current major neighborhood plan. In the 230-acre area between 2nd and 6th streets, roughly from Folsom to King, the plan changes the underlying zoning to allow for an increase in overall development. Current zoning in the area allows for 10,000 jobs and 2,500 units of housing. The Central SoMa plan increases those amounts to allow 45,000 jobs and 7,500 housing units.
Considering San Francisco’s extreme housing shortage, shouldn’t there be more focus on housing in the city’s only active neighborhood plan? Isn’t Central SoMa the perfect opportunity to plan for more housing in a walkable area with proximity to lots of jobs and transit?
While we agree that Central SoMa is a great place to add lots of housing, we disagree with the suggestion that the plan has too many jobs. (In fact we think it could have allowed for both more jobs and more housing). For environmental and equity reasons, Central SoMa is exactly the type of place to go big on jobs, and we encourage the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to move forward with adopting the plan.
There are five key reasons why we believe the proposed number of jobs and housing is the right mix:
San Francisco will soon adopt the Central SoMa Plan, the city’s only current major neighborhood plan. In the 230-acre area, the plan changes the zoning to allow 45,000 jobs and 7,500 housing units. Considering the housing shortage, shouldn’t there be more focus on housing in the city’s only active neighborhood plan? Not necessarily. Here are...
The Bay Area’s housing shortage has led to a grassroots movement of millennials who say “yes” to the building of high-density housing. In a conversation fueled by soaring real estate prices, by threats to the environment and by an increasingly homogeneous society, learn from three individuals on the front line about how they’re leading the pro-housing movement. Co-presented by SFHAC.
+ Laura Foote Clark / YIMBY Action
+ Kim-Mai Cutler / Initialized Capital
+ Corey Smith / San Francisco Housing Action Coalition
SPUR’s Laura Tam on how cities can become more resilient in the face of climate change - www.newsdeeply.com/water/commu...
Laura Tam, sustainable development policy director at the urban policy think tank SPUR, tells Water Deeply about how our cities can become more resilient in the face of climate change and what that means for our water.
In a region where people largely agree with each other about national issues, our most heated political debates revolve around local land use. The emergence of a Yes In My Back Yard movement has the potential to change long-unchallenged political dynamics.
Read more from The Urbanist - www.spur.org/publications/urba...
New affordable housing is on the way in San Francisco thanks to the Affordable Housing Bond approved by voters in 2015. Proposition A dedicated $310 million to building and rehabilitating affordable places to live for low-, moderate- and middle-income San Franciscans. Already, the bond’s passage has accelerated by five years the opening of 1,600 new and rehabilitated public housing units at Sunnydale and 1,200 units at Potrero and has backed the expansion of the city’s down-payment assistance loan program to teachers.
Now, four new multifamily developments have been selected for loans issued from bond funds. Together, these projects will add more than 500 units of new affordable housing to four different neighborhoods: the Excelsior, Forest Hills, the Tenderloin and the Mission. As these projects get underway, the public can track progress on the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development website. This November, voters across the Bay Area have new opportunities to approve bonds for affordable housing. The progress 2015’s Prop. A has made so far shows how much bond funds can do to keep our cities affordable for everyone — even more reason to vote “yes” for affordable housing this election.
Learn more: sfmohcd.org/2015-affordable-ho...
Oakland’s streets will soon look very different than they did just a few years ago. Bicycle, pedestrian and transit improvements have historically been ad hoc, the result of two factors: a culture that prioritized cars and, more importantly, the absence of a dedicated department overseeing the city’s transportation funds and projects. Earlier this year, Mayor Libby Schaaf established Oakland’s Department of Transportation (OakDOT) to bring much-needed structure and a vision that included bikes, pedestrians and transit to the city’s transportation efforts. SPUR has supported the creation of OakDOT because we feel that a well-run DOT is essential to the success of a 21st-century Oakland. The department’s newly released strategic plan confirms that Oakland is moving in the right direction.
Learn more: www.spur.org/news/2016-10-27/n...
The strategic plan just released by Oakland’s new Department of Transportation reflects the city’s activist spirit and opens a new chapter focused on easier and safer access to walking, biking and transit — for everyone. Here are five priorities in the plan that we think will make the biggest difference for Oakland’s transportation future, along...
"San Francisco, already one of the least-leafy major cities in the U.S., is losing trees faster than it’s planting them. Years of neglect of street trees have resulted in a dangerous environment in which unhealthy trees regularly drop branches or topple altogether, especially during windy or rainy weather.
Our sidewalks are also in terrible shape; more than 6,000 of them are cracked, buckled and uneven. Unrepaired sidewalk damage causes dangerous walking conditions, especially for seniors and people with disabilities. Trees are by far the biggest contributors to The City’s broken sidewalks. Trip-and-fall injuries are the top cause of injury-related hospitalizations and death for seniors.
Both of these problems are the result of a longtime policy failure that could be corrected in one fell swoop. This failure has provoked public outcry recently, as The City has made budget-based decisions to transfer responsibility for the maintenance of thousands of street trees and sidewalks to the adjacent property owners — many of whom don’t have the knowledge or means to provide such maintenance, and some of whom don’t even realize The City holds them responsible for it. Even prior to this deeply unpopular program of “relinquishment,” tree and sidewalk maintenance has been completely inconsistent: a mish-mash in which The City has maintained some of them and expected homeowners to maintain the others.
Voters will have a chance to fix this mess by passing Proposition E in November. Prop. E will make The City responsible once again for the maintenance of all street trees and the repair of tree-related sidewalk damage. It will pay for these costs through a $19 million set-aside from the General Fund and, therefore, will not impose any additional burden on taxpayers."
San Francisco, already one of the least-leafy major cities in the U.S., is losing trees faster than it’s planting them. Years of neglect of street trees have resulted in a dangerous …