With many property owners in the city either undergoing mandatory seismic retrofits or planning and dreading them, the city has thrown them a possible bonus. In early March, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation to allow the creation of new in-law rental units in buildings that are doing seismic retrofits. The ordinance, which could go into effect as early as this month, would add new housing stock of a type that is typically affordable and unsubsidized.
The new units will be subject to rent control if the building in which they’re created is also subject to rent control. The units have to be built within the building’s existing “envelope,” so no expansion of the size (height or bulk) to the building is allowed.
“Increasing our housing stock requires a wide range of solutions, and adding in-law units is a sustainable way to build new housing in our neighborhoods,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener, who introduced the measure. “These units are a great way to expand our building supply without affecting the existing character of our neighborhoods.”