Adobe Stock/"Can Balcioglu"

Housing in California, and especially the Bay Area, is incredibly expensive these days. In an effort to provide more inexpensive housing a new state law allows developers to skip expensive and lengthy environmental review in exchange for building a certain amount of affordable apartments.

As San Francisco Chronicle staffer J.K. Dineen reports, a proposed 130-unit family housing project in San Francisco would by the first in the city to take advantage of the new law.

Here’s how the law works:

In exchange for expedited approvals, the developer must commit to a certain percentage of permanently affordable units. The amount of affordable units ranges from 10 to 100%, depending on the community and how much housing it produces. In San Francisco, a developer looking to take advantage of SB35 must commit to making at least 50% of the units affordable.

The proposed plan in San Francisco is the third project seeking to involve the new law. The first, in West Berkeley, is a 260-unit building on a parking lot across the street from the historic Spenger’s restaurant. The second is a proposal to replace an antiquated shopping mall near the Apple campus in Cupertino with a 2,400-unit residential complex.

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