Northern News

APA CA logo

A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Making great communities happen

10 percent of San Francisco’s housing stock sitting vacant and empty

By Joe Kukura, SFist, February 1, 2022

San Francisco’s “Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office, which has access to a lot more private residential information than journalists do, ran an exhaustive report on [the number of empty housing units in San Francisco] at the request of Supervisor Dean Preston. And according to the San Francisco Business Times, they found that ‘Nearly one in 10 residential units sits empty in San Francisco.’

“The Business Times, as well as the Chronicle and the SF Standard are all covering this in the context of Preston likely presenting a vacancy tax, a fight that will likely happen, but that’s for another day.

“[U]pwards around 9,000 of our apartment vacancies are richie-rich vacation homes, which are occupied only occasionally.

“[H]ere’s the shocker, particularly when it comes to discussion that San Francisco is not meeting its housing goals. We’re actually exceeding our goals for market-rate (expensive) housing, it’s the affordable housing that we’re lagging on. 

“[T]he report may prompt the board and various city agencies to demand even higher percentages of affordable housing.

“[The report may] make us all demand answers on how a city can have at least 8,000 homeless people while simultaneously having more than 40,000 empty apartments.”

Read the full article here. (~3 min.)

Return to Northern News here.

Scroll to Top