Photo: Nicolas Raymond/Flickr
Created by the San Francisco Planning Department and backed by Mayor Ed Lee, the Affordable Housing Bonus Program (AHBP) bills itself as a “common sense policy to building 4,100 additional new units of affordable housing in SF.” Its goal is to directly aid the city’s diminishing working middle class.
This week, the AHBP had a major win when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a portion of the program that Hoodline reports will “reward private developers who build housing projects that are 100 percent affordable with increased height limits.” Put simply, developments can now be built up to 30 feet higher as long as all units are affordable to those earning less than 80 percent of the median income in the area.
Seven 100-percent-affordable developments that are already underway will be immediately affected by the decision — together, they will be able to add 203 additional affordable units for a total of 842.
The response from San Francisco residents has been largely positive, at least on Twitter, where proponents have been using the hashtag #SupportAHBP. For instance, Peter Cohen, who lives in San Francisco and describes himself as an affordable housing activist, commented:
100% Affordable Housing bonus program with amendments just passed unanimously by Board of Supes. Nice work by both Progs and Mods.
— Peter Cohen (@pcohensf) July 12, 2016
Corey Smith, a community organizer for the San Francisco Housing Coalition and a board member for the D5 Democratic Club, was also overwhelming positive, specifically thanking board member Scott Weiner:
— Corey Smith (@coreysmith_17) June 21, 2016
Dissidents, Hoodline notes, are those concerned about what’s been called the “’Manhattanization’ of Baghdad by the Bay.” Essentially, it’s feared that building up will lead to displacement and to the homogenization of each unique neighborhood’s cultural roots.