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.

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Updates and Events

Oakland’s Plan for Facing the Housing Crisis Head On

News March 7, 2016
Oakland is experiencing a housing crisis that threatens to irrevocably change the city. Part of the problem is the imbalance between job growth and housing supply. Last year, Mayor Schaaf assembled a Housing Implementation Cabinet of housing experts, advocates and practitioners to look at the issue. Last week, the cabinet released its action plan to preserve 17,000 existing homes and create 17,000 new ones.

SPUR Comments on Changes to SF Inclusionary Housing Requirements

Policy Letter February 24, 2016
An inclusionary housing requirement can be an important tool for generating below-market rate housing in San Francisco. However, it can backfire if it is not done right. Based on our review of development pro formas, we do not believe the proposed 25 percent is workable as a baseline requirement. SPUR strongly recommends basing changes to inclusionary housing requirements on analysis of their financial feasibility.

Why Market-Rate Housing Construction Matters for Low-Income Households

News February 18, 2016
Few low-income Californians will ever have the opportunity to live in a subsidized affordable housing unit. How do we help everyone else? A new paper from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office provides evidence that market-rate housing construction plays an important role for low-income households. The LAO’s data shows that urban counties nationwide with more housing construction had slower rent growth than California coastal cities.

(A Little) More Housing for Everyone

News January 21, 2016
Listening to some San Francisco advocates, it’s easy to get the impression that the proposed Affordable Housing Bonus Program will dramatically alter the city overnight. But this ignores two key factors. First, the program has been very thoughtfully crafted to add housing without displacing anyone. Second, the length of the building cycle means these changes will happen gradually, over two decades or more.

Is Prefab Pretty Fab?

Urbanist Article January 19, 2016
With housing demand higher than ever and construction costs rising, several multifamily developers placed their bets on prefabricated affordable housing in 2015. Motivated in large part by technology's potential for delivering shorter construction times (and sometimes, lower costs), developers are beginning to use modular construction on numerous projects throughout the Bay Area.

A Good Year for Housing Reform

Urbanist Article January 19, 2016
From SPUR’s perspective, the November 2015 election was pretty close to perfect in terms of housing policy. The voters took constructive steps to add supply of both market rate and affordable housing, while at the same time rejecting a measure that would have reduced supply.

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