San Francisco may have violated housing law

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has informed San Francisco officials that the county and city may have violated the state’s housing law by rejecting several housing projects. affordable housing.

Monday. Head of Housing Accountability Unit Shannan West sent a letter to city and county officials that UNHCD is concerned officials are “restricting the provision of housing” in the city after supervisors rejected two proposed housing projects in October.

“Although these projects have sought different types of approvals, they share the fact that the Planning Commission approvals for major housing projects are being canceled by the BOS – without any documented findings,” the letter said.

“HCD is concerned that this represents a larger trend in the city / county. “

In October, the San Francisco board rejected two housing projects that would have created more than 800 new homes, including 130 affordable units.

The county planning commission initially approved the projects before they were rejected by supervisors.

In its letter, the HCD said that the rejection of one of the projects without written conclusions may have violated the Housing Liability Act.

By law, local authorities cannot refuse a project that meets general plan, zoning and subdivision standards without written conclusions proving that the project would have a negative impact on public health and safety.

“For this reason, HCD requests that the city / county provide the written conclusions to HCD and each project applicant within 30 days, explaining the reasoning and evidence behind those decisions,” the letter said.

“Although the reasons for the denial have been discussed in public hearings, it is not clear what actions these project applicants are required to take to move these projects forward.”

The HCD also noted that the delay in the San Francisco authorization process “exceeds standards” for jurisdictions of similar size.

The letter also refers to “significant delays” in approving housing projects in the city / county, saying the council has exceeded a “five hearings rule” which limits municipalities to a maximum of five hearings for housing projects.

According to HCD, the state has built an average of less than 80,000 new homes each year, which is significantly lower than the 180,000 homes the state needs each year to match its population growth.

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