Adobe Stock/Sarah Jane

In order to help address the housing shortage currently happening in the city by the bay, Mayor London Breed is planning to sign off an an executive order next Thursday that's designed to accelerate the assessing and approving of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) which will include a big backlog mired in various stages of review.

ADUs — apartments converted from basements, garages and other spaces are seen as an important and creative way to grow the city’s housing stock. City officials, property owners and architects contend that various city departments offer conflicting interpretations of the same building codes when reviewing applications. The bureaucratic confusion is holding up 900 projects.

As part of Breed’s directive, the city agencies involved in assessing applications for the dwellings, including the Fire Department and the Department of Building Inspection, created a checklist for property owners to follow that is intended to provide clear and consistent guidance about what they’ll need to do to get their units approved. The city has approved 377 ADUs since 2014, according to the mayor’s office. Of those, nearly 92 percent were built in rent-controlled dwellings, so the units become rent-controlled as well. Many of the 900 proposed units awaiting approval are expected to be subject to rent control as well

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