District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation to allow property owners who are doing seismic retrofitting to add in-law units. Whether the retrofitting is being done voluntarily or as mandated by the city (for example, last year’s mandate to seismically retrofit thousands of soft-story multi-unit buildings), the owners could take the opportunity to add the units. “Combining these efforts will make it cheaper and easier to add these units, will incentivize owners to seismically retrofit their buildings, and will add much-needed new housing. In-law units are the most affordable type of non-subsidized housing,” said Wiener.
In-law units are a focus of Wiener’s; his bill allowing the creation of new in-law units in the Castro neighborhood was passed by the Board of Supervisors. Units that were added to buildings subject to rent control would also be rent controlled, which meant, Weiner said, “We are creating new rent-controlled units for the first time in over 30 years.”
The supervisor said his new proposal would have much the same effect: “As with my previous legislation allowing new in-law units in the Castro, the units will have to be within the existing building envelope, and units added into rent controlled buildings will also be rent controlled.”