Mayor London Breed Announces Proposal to Eliminate Fees for Accessory Dwelling Units and Affordable Housing Projects
Eliminating Department of Building Inspection fees can incentivize the construction of ADUs and ensure more affordable housing funding is going towards construction of new homes
San Francisco, CA — Today Mayor London N. Breed announced a proposal to eliminate Department of Building Inspection (DBI) permitting fees for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and 100% affordable housing projects. Eliminating these fees is part of Mayor Breed’s strategy to remove barriers to new housing, building on her Executive Directive to expedite the approval of ADUs and her recently announced ballot measure to streamline the creation of affordable housing and teacher housing.
Permitting fees are a significant part of ADU project costs, constituting nearly 8 percent of total project costs, and fees on 100% affordable housing can range upwards of $100,000-$150,000 per project. Mayor Breed will be introducing legislation to eliminate these fees at an upcoming Board of Supervisors meeting.
“To address our housing shortage, we need to break down barriers to building housing,” said Mayor Breed. “That includes eliminating fees that might prevent a small building owner from adding an extra unit to their home. We need to encourage property owners to add in-laws, not add burdens that prevent them from coming forward and prevent us from adding new homes to our neighborhoods. Cutting fees for affordable housing projects also makes sense as we try to make every dollar count in the construction of new housing, especially when City funds are being used to help finance these projects. We can absorb the loss of these fees, but we cannot absorb the loss of new housing in our City.”
ADUs are an important part of Mayor Breed’s strategy to add new housing in San Francisco. In response to a backlog of nearly 900 ADU applications and a slow approval pace, Mayor Breed issued an Executive Directive in August calling for all outstanding ADU applications be responded to within six months, and requiring that moving forward, all new applications be acted upon within four months.
On average, DBI fees represent 7.8% of the total costs of an ADU project. Because permit fees are a significant part of ADU project costs, waiving permit fees could help ease the financial burden, particularly for single family residences that typically finance ADU construction through loans or the use of their savings.