The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has launched a new investigation to get to the bottom of San Francisco’s infamously long permit approval times. Developers commonly cite approval times as a pain point in trying to build in the city, and the investigation will aim to understand and alleviate the problem, along with the high cost of building in the city.
Gustavo Velasquez, HCD Director, said in a press release that the state is concerned about the political decision-making in San Francisco that delays and impedes the creation of new housing. The investigation should last at least 9 months, and the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development will assist the state. The goal is to increase San Francisco’s housing supply and speed up the overall process for project approval.
San Francisco has been a frequent target of bad press lately, including its dismal return-to-the-office occupancy rates compared to other California cities like San Jose. But San Francisco isn’t the only city that has struggled with building permitting delays. Cities like Dallas and Portland, Oregon, have had similar problems lately, and many stakeholders in the real estate industry are hoping public pressure and new technology can speed up the permit approval process.