2018 National Planning Conference

Streamlining Affordability in a Housing Crisis

Monday, April 15, 2019 from 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198175

Location: 2001

Add to My Log


  • Learn about various strategies to introduce, finance, and streamline affordable housing while working within the complex local, state, and federal regulatory frameworks.
  • Discover ways to recruit existing community organizations to participate as members of the development team or as stewards of the final project.
  • Explore methods of facilitating exceptional design by including features that respond to the population being served by the project.


San Francisco is facing a dire affordable housing crisis. The lack of affordable housing has the greatest impact on San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations, including immigrants and senior citizens who have been part of their communities for decades, as well as homeless and formerly homeless families and individuals. Although the city has a robust inclusionary housing policy and rent-control ordinance, the demand for affordable housing continues to increase. The permitting and construction process in San Francisco is notoriously time-consuming, expensive, and rife with opportunities for appeal. The city is faced with the same challenges as market-rate development, including high land prices, community backlash, and stringent design guidelines and zoning regulations, all of which make strict financing deadlines difficult to reach. The city has discovered public-private partnerships and streamlining the approval process as paramount to permitting and constructing 100 percent affordable housing projects. How can multiple agencies with different goals and processes come together to effectively deliver affordable housing that fits within diverse community contexts when every project is unique? Learn how the process comes full circle with representatives from San Francisco’s Planning Department, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and local nonprofit developers. Hear about the unique funding sources, inter-agency coordination, and lessons learned from recent 100 percent affordable projects.

Session Speakers

Carly Grob
City & County of San Francisco
Alameda, CA

Mara Blitzer
San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development

Feliciano Vera
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

Joyce Slen
San Francisco Mayor's Office Housing and Community Development
San Francisco