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San Francisco Explores Lower Affordable Housing Construction Costs

Phil Hall
May 22, 2018
Affordable housing in San Francisco is costing too much money to build, according to Mayor Mark Farrell in an address to a special “cost summit” designed to lower construction expenses

Affordable housing in San Francisco is costing too much money to build, according to Mayor Mark Farrell in an address to a special “cost summit” designed to lower construction expenses.
 
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the costs to build affordable projects in San Francisco are an average of $750,000 per unit, 17 percent more than the average of $627,000 two years ago. Complicating matters is last year’s federal tax cuts, which reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, resulting in fewer companies looking to buy the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits which have been used for years to finance affordable-housing construction financing.
 
The summit brought together 50 non-profit developers, architects, labor leaders and contractors invited by the mayor to join one of three working groups to explore a more cost-effective approach to affordable housing construction. The working groups—which will focus on labor costs and workforce development, government regulation reforms cost-effective design and materials—are being given a two-month timeline to produce suggestions.
 
“We cannot provide affordable homes for our families if we cannot afford to build these homes to begin with,” Farrell said. “Our teachers, janitors, nurses and other working-class residents cannot wait forever for the city to find ways to build homes quicker and cheaper.”

 
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