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Proposal seeks to shake up how SF’s affordable housing is priced

May 15, 2017

By Rachel Swan : sfchronicle – excerpt

City Skyline from Bernal Heights, photo by Zrants

Two competing affordable housing philosophies go head-to-head this week in San Francisco City Hall. One intends to keep middle-class families in a city that’s become increasingly white collar. The other seeks to build more affordable housing for the poor.

Now an advocacy group called the Council of Community Housing Organizations is throwing in an idea that complicates both proposals and the negotiations to reach a consensus.

The group is pushing San Francisco supervisors to change the way that affordable housing is priced, basing it on the market rate for the surrounding neighborhood, rather than the citywide median income. Rents for affordable units would go down in places like Visitacion Valley and the Bayview, and stay about the same in upscale areas like Sea Cliff.

“Right now it’s just flat-priced,” said Peter Cohen, the council’s co-director. “So you have these ‘affordable’ units that are so far above what’s affordable for the neighborhood, they’re essentially being built for outsiders. That’s a recipe for gentrification.”… (more)

One of the biggist arguments that has remained unsettled, other than the inclusionary requirements, has been over the geographic considerations for AMI (area medium income). Which area are you using?


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