Monday, July 23, 2012
The extremely high cost of housing in San Francisco is pushing regulators to reconsider some of the area's draconian land use policies. The city government has, for example, proposed reducing the minimum size of rental units in response to demographic shifts toward one-person households. The new minimum would be 220 square feet versus the current minimum of 290 square feet.
Oddly, some affordable housing advocates are pushing back against this change:
"It's disingenuous to say it creates affordable housing, it's just that you get significantly less space," said Sara Shortt, executive director of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. "This doesn't create affordable housing, it simply creates another lifestyle option." She also worries that the "shoe-box" units could create a slippery slope of allowing other exemptions on considerations like natural light and ceiling height.