As some portions of the Eastern Neighborhoods transform over time from largely PDR areas to places for people to live and work, a variety of community needs will be created. These include affordable housing, transportation improvements, new and improved open space, as well as a variety of other community facilities.

The Eastern Neighborhoods public benefits program will outline the full list of needs and prioritize them. A complete funding and implementation strategy will ensure that these needs can be addressed over the life of the Plan.

Focus on affordable housing

To house diverse groups of people and address the citywide need for more affordable housing, while ensuring the vitality and character of new neighborhoods, we must provide a variety of housing types at a range of affordability levels. Given San Francisco's high cost of living, affordable housing is a high community priority as part of new housing development in the Eastern Neighborhoods.

The Eastern Neighborhoods proposals would encourage about 7,500 -10,000 new housing units over the next 20 years. The Plans strive to provide new housing that meets the needs of low, moderate and middle income individuals and families. In addition to the City's existing Inclusionary Housing Ordinance which requires that market-rate developments larger than five units provide 15-20 percent of their units at below market rate, the Plans require higher percentages of affordable housing in formerly industrial areas, provide new options to develop land for affordable housing, and provide funding for affordable housing production through new fees.

What is affordable housing?

Affordable housing refers simply to apartments or condominiums that are priced to be affordable to individuals and families earning anywhere from about 30% to about 120% of the city's median income (or about $30,000 to $114,000 for a family of four). Because affordable housing sells or rents for less than the amount required to cover its costs, it must be subsidized. This subsidy can come in the form of government funding, or through requirements that developers designate a certain percentage of new units they build as affordable.