San Francisco must change Restrictive Housing Approval Policies


Well-known member
Oct 30, 2023
Look out! Those of you involved in housing development in San Francisco will have to deal with a change in the city's housing approval policies soon. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is requiring the city of San Francisco to make substantial changes to it's housing permitting process, as it's considered slow and restrictive. San Francisco has been often criticized for their practices of allowing individuals to delay or outright halt housing projects in their tracks, so much so that they are known for having the longest approval time in the state of California.

The main issues are likely the city's discretionary approach to permitting in general, as well the fact that appeals can come in after a project has been agreed upon. On top of that, local laws have added more strict rules and requirements when it comes to state environmental law.

San Francisco will be required to consider these new laws with permitting and must follow them by 2026. They must also eliminate additional environmental requirements, within a two to three year period. 18 specific changes in total are expected to be completed by the city in order to speed up the approval process for new house projects, which could impact developers, architects and other stakeholders in the housing sector.

For more on these upcoming changes, you can find the full article here.
San Francisco, California, United States
This is a good change for sure. I hear it's notoriously hard to purchase property in San Francisco and even tougher to get all the building/construction permits if you plan to build instead. No more halting projects, and no more wasting time.

Hopefully people take notice and make these types of changes all over the country.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development wants the city to make big changes because it thinks the way things work now is slow and too strict. People have often complained that in San Francisco, some people can make housing projects take longer or even stop them completely. That's why it takes the longest time in California to get approval for housing projects. The main problem seems to be that the city has too many choices in how it gives out permits, and people can still complain even after a project has been agreed on. Also, local laws have made the rules about the environment stricter.