The “ins and outs” of affordability

201 Folsom Street had an affordability problem. The city told Tishman Speyer they had an obligation to provide a certain amount of below market rate housing and they did not want to include it among the 671 units of luxury housing they’re building across the street from the Infinity. Instead, they chose to put it off-site in a project being built by the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation almost a mile and a half away at 10th and Mission Streets. 

TNDC will present their plans to develop approximately 188 units of low income housing at next week’s meeting of the SoMa Leadership Council. The housing will be for sale rather than rental, priced to be affordable to households earning an average of 90% of the area median income, with some units aimed at those earning as much as 150% of AMI.

The TNDC project will bring more affordable housing to an area experiencing rapid gentrification. Twitter will be moving into the old Furniture Mart a block away later this year. Mercy Housing recently opened a 12 story apartment building at 10th and Mission which serves very low income families and another 11 story tower a block away that includes 106 studio and one-bedroom apartments for very low-income seniors.

They will lie in the shadow of the $200 million apartment project being developed by Crescent Heights which is rising at 10th and Market Streets. More than 700 units of luxury housing will be contained in four towers. The tallest will be 35 stories; the others will be 9, 18 and 19 stories high.

SoMa sure isn’t what it used to be. How will this impact the existing population? Is it worth preserving the current income mix and demographics of the area? What about the politics of displacement?

Supervisor Jane Kim introduced a resolution supporting the Western SoMa Community Stabilization Policy last June. The measure, intended to support the historic balance of affordable vs. market rate housing, passed at the Board of Supervisors unanimously. Her staff is currently working on trailing legislation to implement a linkage between luxury and affordable housing. The discussion of the ins and outs of affordability is only beginning. See you next Wednesday at the SoMa Leadership Council.

Jim Meko, chair
SoMa Leadership Council


1 Comment

Filed under meetings, planning, politics, social justice

One response to “The “ins and outs” of affordability

  1. Rampant stuff

    “The TNDC project will bring more affordable housing to an area experiencing rapid gentrification.”

    “Rapid” gentrification…whew! For a minute there I thought you wrote rampant, oh my!

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