San Francisco Gets State Scolding for Housing Holdups

San Francisco Gets State Scolding for Housing HoldupsSource: California Department of Housing and Community Development
Tony Ng
Published on December 01, 2023

In a showcasing of bureaucratic wrangling, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has slapped San Francisco with a Corrective Action Letter. This bureaucratic wrist-slap follows a landmark report issued in October, flagging the City by the Bay for housing hiccups and dragging feet on vital housing reforms. The state's housing honchos mean business, demanding San Francisco shape up on its commitments to build, build, build.

HCD's October report wasn't just another shelf-sitter. Tagged as the San Francisco Housing Policy and Practice Review, it laid it out plain and simple: barriers as high as the city’s famed hills were stalling the approval and construction of much-needed housing. San Francisco had gotten its homework—a clear list of "Required Actions," with deadlines eager to be met. Yet, the city has missed multiple markers, a serious no-no in the state's eyes, resulting in this recent gubernatorial grade-down. "HCD continues to work with the jurisdiction to help them meet their housing commitments," the department said, seemingly clinging to a partnership even as the city stumbles.

The letter, which might as well be penned in bright red ink, doesn't exactly spell out detention for the city's policymakers, but it's close. The department's corrective notice is more than a nudge; it's a clear message that Sacramento is watching and San Francisco's lag isn't going unnoticed. Details of the Corrective Action Letter are on full display, laid out bare for all to see.

With housing a heated topic in California and San Francisco often at the center of the inferno, the city's latest flub might feel like a splash of cold water. Some see it as state muscle flexing, a move to get municipals in line through the stark language of mandates and missed opportunities. Yet, eyes are on the city's leaders, officials who've now been given a public shake-up. A wake-up call in the form of a letter, the state's ultimatum is clear: Clear the path, or we'll clear it for you, San Francisco.