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

Non-Primary Residences and San Francisco's Housing Market

White Paper October 21, 2014
How many housing units in San Francisco are not occupied by a permanent resident? And do such units further constrain the city's tight housing market and drive up housing prices? While it's very difficult to exactly quantify the number of non-primary residences in San Francisco, we provide a rough picture of how many there are and how SF compares to other cities on this issue.

Are Second Homes Driving Up San Francisco Housing Prices?

News October 21, 2014
In cities like San Francisco, where housing is expensive and the market is competitive, emotional reactions can inform the policy debate. Is San Francisco’s housing supply being taken up by people who own units they don’t live in? Our study, Non-Primary Residences and San Francisco’s Housing Market takes an analytical approach, looking at numbers from the 2012 American Community Survey.

SPUR Comments on San Jose 2040 General Plan Amendments

Policy Letter September 17, 2014
The San Jose Planning Commission proposed two amendments to the 2040 General Plan: 1) To increase the downtown density cap from 350 dwelling units per acre to 800 dwelling units per acre; and 2) To propose new language intended to promote job-generating land uses instead of housing.

Are We in an Affordability Crisis or a Housing Bubble?

News August 6, 2014
No one in San Francisco is arguing about whether real estate is expensive. There is, however, some debate about how to characterize the astronomical prices. Now that median home values have returned to pre-recession highs, some are compelled to ask: Are we in another housing bubble? Real estate experts Jed Kolko and Tim Cornwell spoke to this question at a recent SPUR forum.

SPUR Weighs in on Proposed Housing Metering Legislation

Policy Letter May 23, 2014
Although Supervisor Jane Kim's proposed housing balance legislation intends to increase the amount of affordable housing in San Francisco's District 6, SPUR analysis indicates that the plan is likely to backfire — resulting in less market-rate housing, not more affordable housing.

SPUR Supports In-Law Unit Legalization Legislation

Policy Letter March 20, 2014
While legalizing existing in-law units (estimated at 30-50,000) will not increase the availability of housing in San Francisco, it will maintain an existing source of affordable housing, protect tenants, increase property tax revenue to the City and provide a safe and clear path to legal status for property owners.

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