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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Just Got Interesting

The city may pass legislation allowing landlords to repurpose what would normally be considered storage into housing units.
Posted at 9:49 AM, Jul 27, 2016

San Francisco may soon have thousands of new housing units on the market. The only problem is they might actually be someone's garage or old storage unit.

A short supply and high demand for housing made the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment over $3,400 at the beginning of this year.

Now, the city is expected to pass legislation that would let landlords convert storage and utility areas into new apartments in existing buildings. If passed, it's estimated it would create about 14,000 more units.

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While it might not seem ideal to live where someone used to park their car, the alternative may be more bleak. Before this expected legislation, Vanguard Properties estimated the city was on track to create just over 3,600 new housing units each year.

Even though 14,000 added units could help, there's the secondary issue: How many of those units will be "affordable"?

These new repurposed units are expected to be cheaper and rent-controlled, if the legislation passes. But rent-controlled just means there are limits on how much the price can go up between years –– not that the units will necessarily be "affordable" to begin with.

This video includes clips from KTVUKQEDAl Jazeera and CBS and images from Mark Hogan / CC BY SA 2.0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.