San Francisco Requests Housing Policy Extension from State

San Francisco is facing a deadline to accommodate 82,000 new housing units by 2031, as mandated by the state. The city was given a deadline of 30 days to streamline its building policies, which passed on October 25, 2023. The California Department of Housing and Community Development is expected to issue a warning letter to the city at any time. Upon receipt, the city has 30 days to comply with the state’s requirements or else it will move to decertify San Francisco’s permitting policy outlined in its Housing Element and install its own processes.

To address the crisis, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on two items. The first was an ordinance proposed by Mayor London Breed and Supervisors Matt Dorsey and Joel Engardio to streamline the permitting process to comply with state requirements. The committee voted to amend it and push it to next week’s meeting.

The second was a resolution sponsored by Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Connie Chan, to ask the state to extend its deadline. Upon approval, Supervisor Myrna Melgar added, “It doesn’t hurt to ask for an extension. I think it’s okay.” The deadline extension, which will move ahead for a vote Tuesday by the full board, was supported by several organizations, including the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition and the Council of Community Housing Organizations.

The resolution lists the changes the city has already made to streamline the approval process and places blame on the current economic climate for slow housing. However, the city is still struggling to meet the state’s mandate. The extension request is an attempt to buy more time to meet the goal and avoid decertification of the city’s permitting policy.