Why Yes, This Cement Floor IS a Cool Design Feature

If you're new or new-ish to San Francisco and experiencing shell-shock in the search for “affordable housing,” good news may be on the horizon.

Thanks to a March report by the urban planning and environmental non-profit, SPUR, which laid out the potential benefits of allowing owners of single-family dwellings to convert garages, storage spaces, and basements into rental properties,  a San Francisco Supervisor is introducing a local rule to do just that.

The only hitch?

San Francisco City and County Supervisor Scott, Wiener, who represents District 8 — which includes the Castro, Eureka Valley, and Upper Market, among other densely-packed neighborhoods — wants the new “In-Laws and Granny-Flats” rule to apply only in three neighborhoods: Diamond Heights, Noe Valley, and Glen Park.  

The Board of Supervisors passed a similar measure last year, which applied only to the Castro.

Supervisor Wiener recently told the San Francisco Business Times:

Ten or 15 years ago, I don't think any of them could have passed. We have a housing crisis. We need more housing of all different varieties. ….My take is, let's focus on the neighborhoods where people really want it, rather than taking it city-wide and starting a huge fight. We're trying to be respectful of the desires of the different neighborhoods.”

So, take heart, Weary Apartment Hunter. Relief may arrive soon — Wiener's proposal has to undergo a 30 day review before the full Board votes. And keep in mind: With the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco currently hovering in the $3,000 range, those who scoff at the idea of living in a converted laundry room do so at their own peril.

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