ADUs Done Right

18 03 2016

A diagram from the SF Planning’s Department’s handbook on building ADUs.

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs for short; also called in-laws, secondary units, or granny flats) have often been touted as a way to create “naturally” affordable housing (rather than being price-restricted, as traditional affordable housing is) and add density to the City with minimal impact to the character of neighborhoods.  CCHO’s stance has always been that even supposedly “naturally” affordable housing needs regulations and tenant protections to actually guarantee affordability for San Francisco residents.  Even developers and property owners building “naturally” affordable units won’t necessarily resist the temptation of a hot housing market and high rental prices.

Finally, however, we have an ADU measure that comes with these guarantees and protections baked in.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced legislation this Tuesday that would allow property owners across San Francisco to create new legal ADUs – units with rent control and prohibited from being used as short-term rentals, or from canabalizing existing commercial space, or from being built in buildings that have evicted tenants, and prohibited from being subdivided and converted from rental units into mini spec condos.  These are exactly the regulations that CCHO called for in previous forms of ADU legislation last year, but unfortunately were rejected.

This is an impressive proposal to expand the supply of rent control housing through secondary units across the City, and it is good to see specific controls to ensure long-term affordability to serve the needs of low-income and middle-income residents.

Innovation + appropriate regulation.  ADUs Done Right.  Thank you, Supervisor Peskin.

Read the SF Examiner’s article on this legislation.