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President, Board of Supervisors

District 5

City and County of San Francisco

LONDON N. BREED
Thank you for the letter and for your commitment to our neighborhood.
My goal is to help people of all income levels be able to live and stay in San Francisco. That is
why I secured $2 Million to rehabilitate over 163 unused public housing units and make them
available to homeless families. Its why I am leading the effort to launch the Rental Assistance
Demonstration program, which will generate $500 million for over 4,500 public housing units.
Its why my neighborhood preference legislation, which will prioritize neighborhood residents
for all affordable housing units, is so important to me. (Im happy to report it passed the
Planning Commission unanimously two weeks ago and the Boards Land Use Committee
Monday.) Its why I supported Supervisor Kims recent legislation to stop gotcha evictions for
things like hanging your laundry out to dry, and why I was a deciding vote to support the
provision allowing tenants to add roommates. And it is why I support Neighborhood
Commercial Transit Districts.
As the Planning Department said in the report for my legislation:
The 2012 American Community Survey estimated San Franciscos population to be
about 807,755. The Association [of] Bay Area Governments projects continued
population growth to 981,800 by 2030 or an overall increase of about 174,045 people
who will need to be housed over the next 18 years. Household growth, an approximation
of the demand for housing, indicates a need for some 72,530 new units in the 18 years to
2030 just to accommodate projected population and household growth. The Citys
challenge is to find new ways to accommodate more housing units into the existing urban
fabric in order to meet current and future demands without negatively impacting
neighborhood character.
And thataccommodating more housing without negatively impacting neighborhood
characteris exactly what NCTs and other density decontrols do. Quoting Planning again:
The City started to adopt zoning districts without density controls in 2007 as a result of
the Market Octavia Plan. These new districts include the Residential Transit Oriented
(RTO, RTO-Mission) Districts, the Neighborhood Commercial Transit Districts (NCT-1,
NCT-2, and NCT-3) and several new named Neighborhood Commercial Districts,
including the SOMA NCT, Mission Street NCT, Ocean Avenue NCT, and the Glenn
Park NCT Districts [there are also the Hayes-Gough, Valencia, 24th Street, Upper
Market, Folsom, Divisadero, and Fillmore NCTs]. Rather than regulating the number of
units by the area of the lot, the number of units in RTO and NCT Districts is limited by
height/bulk, open space, setback, and exposure requirements. This allows for slightly
more units than would be permitted under the current regulations.

City Hall ! 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place ! San Francisco, California 94102-4689 ! (415) 554-7630
Fax (415) 554 - 7634 ! TDD/TTY (415) 554-5227 ! E-mail: London.Breed@sfgov.org

I cant say if the Citys projected growth is good or bad or if the numbers themselves are
accurate predictions, but I know this: San Francisco needs more housing, especially more
affordable housing.
NCTs provide more units within a given building size. They do not increase the allowable
height or bulk of buildings, or remove any other neighborhood-serving regulations. By allowing
more units within the same building envelope, you create a significantly higher number of
affordable units, since those are set as a percentage of overall units. And the market rate units
are smaller and thus less expensive as well. The Divisadero NCT means more affordable units
and cheaper market rate units without any height increases.
Rescinding the NCT would mean dramatically-more-expensive condos and dramatically fewer
affordable units in developments on Divisaderowithout requiring their building size to change
at all. Multimillion dollar condos and fewer affordable units: I do not see the upside to that
course. It is fundamentally counter to my goal of helping people of all income levels live and
stay in San Francisco.
I absolutely want to see a higher requirement for onsite affordable units than what the voters
implemented in 2012 with Proposition C (i.e. 12%). Its something I have been working on for a
long time. Unfortunately, doing so is not as simple as some have incorrectly made it seem.
Proposition C prohibits the City from increasing affordability requirements unless certain criteria
are met, whats called a significant upzoning in an area of 40 acres or more. The Divisadero
NCT area is not 40 acres. So the path is more difficult, and we must be creative.
I am working closely with the Planning Department and City Attorneys office on ways we can
legally increase the affordability requirement, perhaps in connection with the local Affordable
Housing Bonus Program or the California Density Bonus Law. I want to work with the
community on other ways to increase onsite affordable homes, possibly even via a citywide
ballot measure next year, and would be happy to discuss ideas with your group. And I want to
be perfectly clear; I will not support any development on Divisadero that does not include a
significant percentage of onsite affordable units!
I dont own a house. I am a lifelong renter. And, as it happens, my building is about to be sold,
meaning I face all the uncertainty and disruption that too many folks in our city are facing. I am
going to continue working for solutions to keep people like us in our homes and in our
neighborhoodregardless of the political implications.
There is no silver bullet, no panacea for our housing crisis. And that is exactly why I am
working on a variety of efforts at the local, state, and even federal levels to create more
affordable homes and make them available to neighborhood residents.
Sincerely,

London Breed
President of the Board of Supervisors