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

    Room for More

    Our housing agenda for San Jose lays out 20 concrete steps the city can take to address the chronic housing shortage, ranging from fixing its planning process to finding more funding for affordable housing.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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

How California Can Use CEQA to Deliver Healthy Communities

News June 24, 2020
California has finally changed how the transportation impacts of new development and infrastructure are measured, switching from a decades-old metric that prioritized cars to one that will favor less-polluting forms of transportation. This straightforward yet monumental change will make it easier to build healthy, dense, walkable neighborhoods and will discourage sprawl development that degrades air quality and hastens climate change.

Four Tools for Stimulating Economic Recovery Through New Homebuilding

News June 23, 2020
During the last recession, homebuilding ground to a halt. We can’t let the same thing happen this time. What can be done to keep the pipeline of new housing open through this crisis and recovery? SPUR and the Terner Center offer four principles to help guide new housing construction and facilitate economic recovery.

One Idea for Economic Recovery: Treat Housing as Infrastructure

News June 16, 2020
As California and the Bay Area face the urgency of economic recovery, we must take immediate steps to address the housing affordability crisis. What if we were able to build housing the way we build other critical infrastructure: when we need it, not just when we’re in an economic boom?

Eliminate SF's Conditional Use Requirement for Demolitions That Would Add New Units

Policy Letter May 4, 2020
Current law allows the demolition of "demonstrably unaffordable" single-family homes without a conditional use authorization. SPUR supports the same treatment for these projects as for less valuable homes, but we suggest eliminating conditional use approvals for the demolition of non-historic single-family homes where additional units would be added post-demolition, regardless of their value.

SPUR Calls for Clarification of Emergency Rule No. 9 and Its Impact on Housing Development

Policy Letter May 4, 2020
SPUR calls on Honorable Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and members of the Judicial Council to clarify that Emergency Rule No. 9 does not change the statutes of limitations for CEQA and land use claims. Unless it is amended, this rule will impose a hold on housing developments that are desperately needed to address California’s housing crisis – a crisis that is intensified by the COVID-19 emergency.

SPUR Urges California Congressional Delegation to Support Affordable Housing

Policy Letter May 1, 2020
SPUR joined NPH, All Home and more than 100 other organizations in calling on Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the California Congressional Delegation to implement rental/debt relief for households unable to pay for housing as a result of COVID-19 and to designate affordable housing as essential infrastructure in any future stimulus packages.

Follow Our Work

Get the latest updates on SPUR projects and events.

Sign up for our newsletters