SF Apartment : June 2017


Housing the Homeless

What is currently a federally owned parking lot on 7th and Mission streets behind James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse is being considered for homeless housing. The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development sees potential to develop two residential buildings on the parcel: one 85-foot building with 150 units would provide permanently supportive housing for formerly homeless single adults, and the other, a 65-foot building with 100 units, would provide housing to formerly homeless seniors. This would be the city’s largest housing project for formally homeless residents.

Another proposed project is a temporary housing shelter at 1515 S. Van Ness Avenue in the Mission District, approved by the Board of Supervisors. The space is currently owned by Lennar Multifamily Communities, which plans to develop a mix of housing and commercial space in 2018. In the meantime, it’s agreed to lease to the city the one-story warehouse that stands on the location for no money, until their planned development begins. The city plans to set up the warehouse as a housing shelter with city services.

A similar navigation center is slated to begin operation this summer at 25th and Michigan Streets in the Dogpatch neighborhood.

Federal Funding for Caltrain

$100 million in federal funding is being considered for Caltrain. The money would come from the $1.1 trillion spending bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The funds would go toward Caltrain’s electrification project, which would electrify the Caltrain corridor from San Francisco to San Jose and replace diesel-hauled trains with environmentally friendly electric coaches. It would also help start the process of a high-speed (220-mph) rail service between San Francisco and Los Angeles. In total, Caltrain has secured $1.3 billion for the electrification project.

According to Caltrain, ridership has doubled since 2005 and the funds are necessary to bring commuters up and down the Peninsula more efficiently and at lower fuel costs. Caltrain also stated that the funds would enable them to put 9,600 people to work.

In 2008, California voters approved of the first sale of bonds for the high-speed rail program.

Gas Tax

In April, Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate Bill 1, which will raise gas taxes and vehicle fees by $5.2 billion per year to cover the costs of California’s road, highway, and bridge repairs. The 12-cent tax increase is planned to begin in November, bringing the total tax to 30 cents per gallon. The sales tax on diesel fuel will go from 5.75 percent to 9.75 percent. Staring January 1, 2018, there will be an annual vehicle fee ranging from $25 for cars valued at less than $5,000 to $175 for cars valued at more than $60,000. In lieu of paying gas taxes, electric car owners will be required to pay a $100 annual fee beginning in 2020.

According to Governor Brown, “Safe and smooth roads make California a better place to live and strengthen our economy. This legislation will put thousands of people to work.” The bill follows 23 years without a gas tax increase in California.

The bill is proving to be controversial with equal parts support and opposition. Most Republicans oppose the bill, arguing that the General Fund should foot the bill for state road work.

Airbnb Settlement

Airbnb settled its lawsuit with San Francisco in May after an almost year-long legal fight. As part of the deal, Airbnb will remove from the platform short-term rental hosts who have not registered with the city. Any new San Francisco host will be required to prove that they’ve registered before they can activate their listing on the platform. Additionally, Airbnb will provide a list of its San Francisco listings to the city each month, and city employees will confirm that the listed units have registered.

To help with this process, Airbnb plans to launch a system on their website on which potential hosts can register directly through the platform, eliminating the pains in the registration process that many hosts have complained about.

Airbnb is also working to settle disputes with other cities, including Seattle, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and London.


On June 26, 2017, SFAA will be hosting an ADU Fair at 6:00 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center at 3200 California Street. The fair is free and open to the public and will feature a panel of speakers from the Department of Building Inspection, the Planning Department, and other city agencies to discuss the Accessory Dwelling Unit planning and permitting process and to answer questions from the public.

The fair will also feature vendors, lenders, and other city agencies that oversee the ADU process to discuss the program and opportunities to create ADUs in buildings citywide, as well as to answer individual questions and to discuss how you can best navigate what can be a confusing process between city departments.

The citywide Accessory Dwelling Unit law has been immensely popular since its inception in 2016, and presents a unique opportunity for building owners to construct new, additional units in their buildings. ADUs can also be constructed during mandatory or voluntary seismic retrofit legislation and can be built at a relatively low cost to help leverage the costs associated with the earthquake retrofit. Be sure to put Monday, June 26 on your calendar to get information and learn about this exciting opportunity.

Soft-Story Retrofit Reminder & Free Workshop

Attention Soft Story property owners—permit applications for Tier Three must be submitted to the Department of Building Inspection by no later than September 15, 2017. Tier Three includes multi-unit buildings with three or more stories or five or more units. Please do not delay. Take the next step to ensure your property, and your tenants, are better protected by complying with San Francisco’s Mandatory Seismic Retrofitting law. Keep in mind, you may also qualify to add an accessory dwelling unit to your property during the seismic retrofit.

Additionally, DBI, along with the Mayor’s Earthquake Safety Implementation Program, is hosting a free public fair on June 15, 2017, at the Bill Graham Civic Center Auditorium, from 12:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Please visit www.sfdbi.org/earthquakefair for details. DBI staff is happy to answer any questions and assist with obtaining retrofitting permits at this free public event.

SFAA Website Revamp

The SFAA has upgraded and redesigned its website for a better user experience. Members can now more easily access forms, register for events and classes, view videos of member meetings, browse the magazine, and review the vendor directory, among other improvements.

To log in to the website, users need to enter their member number and use the password: SFAA2016.