Housing

Our goal: Make it affordable to live here.

SPUR’s housing agenda:

• Zone for more housing—in the right locations.
• Invest in permanently affordable housing.
• Enable more housing to be affordable by design.
• Rethink parking requirements.
• Encourage secondary units.
• Get housing development fees right.

Read more from SPUR’s Agenda for Change
  • SPUR Report

    8 Ways to Make San Francisco More Affordable

    San Francisco is in the midst of an affordability crisis. Reversing the situation will require far-reaching changes to the city’s housing policies. But there are many things we can do at the local level to make San Francisco more affordable for the people who live here.

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  • SPUR Report

    Re-Envisioning the San Francisco Housing Authority

    The San Francisco Housing Authority has a budget short fall and lacks funding to meet its capital needs. SPUR offers recommendations to help the agency become financially sustainable over the long term.

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  • SPUR Report

    Affordable by Design

    Housing units that are affordable "by design" cost less to produce because they’re small, efficiently designed and don’t come with a parking space. Could this be a new way to produce middle-income housing without using public subsidy?

    Read More
  • SPUR Report

    A Housing Strategy for San Francisco

    San Francisco’s unique culture is threatened by the high cost of housing. Unless we do something, the city will lose its artists, its progressive politics, its immigrants and its young people. This second edition of our Housing Strategy for San Francisco updates the policy reports that define SPUR's housing agenda.

    Read More

Updates and Events

Inclusionary Housing: A Good Tool but Let’s Wield It Carefully

News February 23, 2017
How much affordable housing should San Francisco require market-rate developers to build? A new study offers recommendations, and city supervisors will soon vote on a permanent requirement. The question they’ll face next is whether to stand by recommendations grounded in technical analysis or yield to political pressures to approve a higher requirement that sounds good but could backfire.

What East Oakland Can Teach Us About Displacement

Urbanist Article January 11, 2017
More and more people with the means to purchase a home are turning to the few places left in the Bay Area that are still (relatively) affordable. This includes East Oakland, which experienced the Bay Area's most explosive growth in home prices, resulting in our current phenomenon of displacement without development.

The Rise of the YIMBY Movement

Urbanist Article January 11, 2017
In a region where people largely agree with each other about national issues, our most heated political debates revolve around local land use. The emergence of a Yes In My Back Yard movement has the potential to change long-unchallenged political dynamics.

Bye-Bye to By-Right Housing

Urbanist Article January 11, 2017
Every reform proposal has powerful opponents, and Governor Jerry Brown’s “by-right” housing proposal was no exception. As a result, the policy, which would have automatically approved certain housing developments that comply with local zoning, failed to pass in the legislature.

After the Ghost Ship

News December 13, 2016
The fire at the Ghost Ship artists collective in the Fruitvale district was the most lethal fire in Oakland’s history and the worst in the state since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. How can property owners and the City of Oakland make places like the Ghost Ship safe without making them so expensive that they cease to be affordable?

Yes in My Backyard: More In-Law Units in San Jose

News November 30, 2016
Last week San Jose became the latest Bay Area city to update its in-law unit ordinances to better serve the need for housing solutions. Once illegal in many cities, this simple way to add more housing — create an additional unit in the backyard, basement, attic or garage — has become a welcome tool in the fight to make urban housing affordable.

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