Plugged-in people saw it coming over a year ago, and on San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee agenda this afternoon: An ordinance amending San Francisco’s Residential Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program including a name change to the “Affordable Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program;” the elimination of a provision requiring developments within the Van Ness Market Special Use District to meet at least half of their affordable housing requirement through the construction of housing versus an in-lieu fee; and the easing of restrictions on the resale of Below Market Rate units.
The downturn in the economy has resulted in areas in the City where the restricted, or Below Market Rate (“BMR”), price is close to or, in some instances, below the unrestricted market price of units in the same area. This has led to hardship for some BMR owners who have been unable to resell.
Certain requirements of the Inclusionary Housing Program and the Procedures Manual ensure that the BMR units offer affordable, high-quality housing and not investment opportunities. In particular, BMR units must be purchased by first-time homebuyers; owner-occupied at all times with a limited allowance for renting; BMR households [must have] at least as many people as bedrooms in the unit; a BMR household must meet an asset test in addition to an earned income test; and the unit must resell to a household whose income is no higher than the income level designated for the unit.
However, these rules sometimes prevent interested buyers from being qualified to purchase BMR resale units because they are unable to sell. During economic downturns, especially, this narrowing of the pool of potential buyers can harm households who may need to sell their units in a timely manner in order to avoid default or foreclosure.
The proposed amendments would give the Mayor’s Office of Housing the discretion to waive the first-time homebuyer requirement, to waive the household size requirement, to waive the owner occupancy requirement, to modify the asset test limitation, and to increase the qualifying income level by 20%.
And yes, waivers would apply to developer sales of BMR units in new developments as well.
∙ Land Use and Economic Development Committee Agenda: 11/22/10 [
∙ Amending San Francisco’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance [sfbos.org]
∙ Buy A BMR For
$10K $25K More Than Bank-Owned At Candlestick Point [SocketSite]
∙ Buy A BMR…For $10K More Than Bank-Owned At Candlestick Point [SocketSite]