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

State Supreme Court Gives Boost to Affordable Housing

News June 24, 2015
Last week, the California Supreme Court released a key ruling that allows cities to require new market-rate housing developments to include homes that are affordable to people with low or moderate incomes. The case that came to the court’s attention was focused on a 2010 City of San Jose ordinance, but the ruling has broader implications for cities across the state.

Why a Housing Moratorium Won’t Bring Rents Down — and What to Do Instead

News June 4, 2015
The displacement occurring in the Mission District and elsewhere in San Francisco is indisputably tragic. But we should not be fooled into believing that passing moratoriums on new development is going to solve the city’s affordability crisis. This simply makes housing less available — and makes it likely that more people will be displaced. Here's what we should do instead.

Getting to Know Your In-Laws

Urbanist Article March 23, 2015
San Francisco is exploring how accessory dwelling units, also known as in-law apartments, might augment its existing housing supply. Can this once marginal, almost completely invisible housing type help solve San Francisco’s current housing shortage?

Urbanism From Within

Urbanist Article March 19, 2015
SPUR's latest exhibition, Urbanism From Within , explores the secondary unit in San Francisco as a housing typology. The exhibition's creative investigations provide a variety of approaches to how the Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU, can be put to better use as housing in ways that do little to change the fabric of the community.

What San Francisco Needs to Do About Housing Affordability

News February 17, 2015
Last week the San Francisco Planning Commission adopted the 2014 Housing Element. SPUR supports the housing element, but we believe the city needs to do much more to address the housing deficit. At a time when San Francisco is experiencing growth in jobs and residents, the city is not planning, approving and building enough housing. We have five suggestions for how to get things moving.

SPUR Supports Addition of Dwelling Unit in Seismic Retrofit Buildings

Policy Letter February 16, 2015
SPUR supports the ordinance introduced by Supervisor Wiener that provides an incentive for property owners to complete the earthquake-safety retrofitting of existing housing, and at the same time enables the addition of more housing to our city's supply.

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