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‘Monumental’ housing bill funds $500 million in S.F. affordable projects, accelerates 3,300 units

October 1, 2015

By Roland Li : bizjournal – excerpt

A new state bill passed last week will result in around $500 million in additional funding for affordable housing and accelerate 3,300 units in affordable housing projects at San Francisco’s Hunters Point Shipyard, Transbay Transit Center and Mission Bay, according to city officials.

The new law, SB 107, gave special authority to San Francisco to use bond financing to partially fund new affordable housing. (No other city received that power, and San Francisco has had more leverage to use the tool because it is both a county and a city.) The new funding tool helps to offset the closing of redevelopment agencies, which were shut down in 2012 and removed billions for affordable housing around the state, said Tiffany Bohee, executive director of the city’s Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, the successor agency to city’s Redevelopment Agency.

“This is monumental,” said Bohee. “We have absolute certainty on when that funding is.”

Without the new legislation, the process of funding thousands of new units would likely take 20 to 25 years. Now, the city is planning on completing the 3,300 affordable units with partners in the next five years, and the state law allows the city to issue bonds for all remaining affordable projects in the three neighborhoods. “It provides a financing mechanism, which in turn creates certainty and allows us to deliver these units faster,” said Bohee.

In the next year, OCII will release request for proposals for five affordable housing projects totaling 818 affordable units. The sites are Block 10A and 11A at Candlestick Point, Transbay Block 4 at Folsom and Main Streets, Hunters Point Shipyard Block 54 and Mission Bay South Block 6 at Merrimac Street. The city is also working on the redevelopment of the existing 179-unit Alice Griffith public housing project…

The revenue will provide about $250,000 of funding per housing unit, or about 40 percent of the total cost of around $600,000 per unit, an expense that has risen sharply due to a scarcity of construction workers and the high cost of building materials. The rest of the costs will be funded with a mix of state and federal sources and the low-income housing tax credit (more)

A shortage of construction workers and high cost of building materials is raising prices. This is the effect of supply and demand we hear so much about. Everything is connected. Once you start raising prices one place they have no where to go but up everywhere. Now wait for the interest rates to rise and send prices through the next roof right after Congress sets the budget based on last year’s rates.

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