San Francisco, CA—Today the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved legislation proposed by Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton that will help unlock the City’s housing pipeline. Currently the City’s housing pipeline consists of more than 52,000 housing units that are approved but stalled. These housing units are part of large developments that have already been approved by the City, but are struggling with financial feasibility due to changing economic conditions.
To ensure new housing construction can begin quickly, the legislation initiates a targeted form of public financing that will allow the critical infrastructure at large projects to be built. Power Station, a 2,600-unit housing project located in the Southeastern part of the City, is the first project to opt into using this economic tool.
By passing this legislation, Power Station will be able to break ground on its first 105 units of workforce housing this year, keeping up with its current schedule of construction instead of facing potential delays. This legislation is part of the Mayor’s Housing for All Plan, a strategy to fundamentally change how San Francisco approves and builds housing.
“We need creative solutions to change how we build the housing we so badly need, including thousands of units of affordable housing,” said Mayor London Breed. “These larger projects have been vetted by the community and City Departments, and approved by the Board of Supervisors, and we need to get them going now. Power Station will help to transform our waterfront, create new open spaces, and new homes. This is part of our larger strategy to building the housing necessary for people to be able to afford to live and work in this City.”
The formation of an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) will capture future property tax revenue generated within the boundaries of the project in order to fund public capital facilities related to the development. Eligible uses from this funding include infrastructure improvements such as the streets, sidewalks, new seawall and shoreline improvements, parks and open space, facilities of community use, preservation of historic structures, affordable housing, and public utilities.
“This legislation demonstrates that we have the ability to get housing built right here in San Francisco if we focus on being innovative and dedicated to solutions to address our housing crisis,” said District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton. “Our office is so excited about the EIFD and setting up the Public Financing Authority. When we come together, we can do anything.”
The Power Station is a large-scale mixed-use project in the central waterfront that will provide significant housing, commercial, open space, and community benefits and improvements to the surrounding community and to the City. The project has begun site work but is at risk of stalling due to the challenging market conditions.
The EIFD for the project will provide needed revenue for infrastructure improvements that are required to be built before any housing can begin. The Power Station project includes 2,600 residential units (30% affordable), 1.6 million square feet of commercial space (life sciences or other uses), seven acres of public open and waterfront space, 250,000 square feet for hotel, and another 100,000 square feet for retail.
“Since its passage two years ago, Power Station has made great progress on the ground, but today’s legislation will enable us to build and deliver housing faster,” said Enrique Landa, Managing Partner at Associate Capital, Power Station’s local development team. “We may be the first project to use this program, but we won’t be the last. The Mayor, Supervisor Walton and the rest of the Board have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to San Francisco’s economic recovery, and to building housing, by meeting the moment head on with creativity and grit.”
“This project will provide good union jobs and stimulate the local economy,” said Rudy Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer of the Building & Construction Trades Council. “This sends the signal that San Francisco is open for business. We appreciate the Mayor and the Supervisor coming together on this investment in our future.”
This IFD is part of Mayor Breed’s Housing for All Plan, a strategy to implement the recently certified Housing Element, which sets the goals and policies to allow for 82,000 new homes to be built over the next 8 years. Housing for All consists of administrative reforms, legislative actions, and government accountability actions. To initiate Housing for All, Mayor Breed issued an Executive Directive to City Departments detailing the immediate actions of this strategy to:
- Reform restrictive zoning controls
- Reduce procedural requirements that impede housing production
- Revise inclusionary housing requirements
- Remove barriers for office-to-residential conversions
- Create new funding mechanisms to unlock the housing pipeline
- Standardize and reduce impact fees