Welcome to the RBA

The Residential Builders Association of San Francisco also known as the RBA represents more than 300 of the most reputable and successful firms in the construction industry

As an Association, the RBA is dedicated to improving conditions and enhancing the common interest of the construction industry in San Francisco. Through business networking, industry forums and strong representation and advocacy to government and professional bodies on a local and regional level the RBA continues to progressively disseminate vital industry information to its membership.

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SACRAMENTO — Build, build, build.

The spirit of housing construction has imbued the state Capitol with renewed fervor this year as Gov. Gavin Newsom and coastal lawmakers push for policies to spur what they say is badly needed development to get soaring rents and home prices under control.

Advocates who work on housing issues in California say the topic is taking center stage like never before, with more than 200 bills introduced this session. The most provocative ideas — and those likely to cause the fiercest legislative fights — challenge the extent to which cities can control what gets built within their boundaries. Several measures would override zoning ordinances and remove other obstacles to make it easier to build housing.

Marina W...

The slowdown in new market-rate, residential development is starting to take its toll on San Francisco’s affordable housing pipeline, as rising construction costs and a softening market are resulting in less money flowing to the city programs that support affordable projects.

The amount of fees that market-rate housing and office developers pay into the city’s affordable housing fund has plummeted 70 percent from the high in fiscal year 2015-16, declining from $111 million to $35 million in the current fiscal year.

Kate Hartley, director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, said the decline isn’t surprising, because market-rate developers have become more cautious about breaking ground on new buildings.

“It’s p...

Plans for close to 45,000 potential homes are currently approved in San Francisco — the highest number tracked by The City’s Planning Department to date — but many of these projects have yet to break ground.

In an effort to speed up the development of affordable housing, last month Mayor London Breed announced that she plans to introduce a charter amendment for the November ballot that would take away the ability of residents to appeal affordable and teacher housing projects, though details remain unclear.

“No more bureaucracy. No more costly appeals. No more not in my neighborhood. It’s simple: Affordable housing as-of-right because housing affordability is a right,” said Breed.

But public disapproval and The City’s slow approval process...

A property owner who was ordered by the city to rebuild an exact replica of a Twin Peaks home by a well-known architect after he illegally demolished it has filed a lawsuit challenging the decision, claiming it violates his civil rights.

Two lawsuits filed in federal and state courts Thursday are seeking to overturn the Planning Commission’s decisions and asking for a total of $10 million in damages — the amount it would cost owner Ross Johnston to comply with the commission’s order to rebuild the Largent House by architect Richard Neutra at 49 Hopkins Ave., according to his attorney, Andrew Zacks.

Also named in the lawsuit is the San Francisco Planning Department, the Department of Building Inspection and the Board of Supervisors, which...

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin doesn’t deserve accusations of NIMBYism. His proposed legislation isn’t Not In My Back Yard, it’s BANANAs: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone.

Under Peskin’s proposal, many more small projects will require a conditional-use permit and go before the City Planning Commission for neighborhood-wide debate. This dramatic increase in public hearings will amount to a “denial of service attack” on the planning department.

There already are major delays in processing permits. Flooding the planning department with unnecessary paperwork will shut down everything from simple kitchen remodels to vitally needed new housing.

The BANANA legislation is being sold as a way to stop “monster homes” and “i...

February 5, 2019

Two Key Votes on Promoting Affordability

All San Francisco politicians claim to support building more housing. But some also work against that goal. Now a “progressive” Board of Supervisors faces two key votes over expanding housing for low-income, working and middle-class residents: it is a moment of truth that will define the Board’s housing agenda.

The first vote is on Mayor Breed’s proposed charter amendment to speed up 100% affordable projects; the second is a CEQA appeal that asks the Board to reject a 63 unit SOMA project with 25% affordability because it briefly shades a park’s basketball court after 6:00 pm.

Affordable Housing By Right

Mayor Breed’s proposed November charter amendment allows 100% affordable projects to be built “a...

Plans are in the works to place a vacancy tax on the November ballot for both residential and commercial properties as part of a citywide plan to address empty storefronts that is set to be announced today by Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

The proposal is intended to free up units that are being kept off the market during San Francisco’s housing crisis and encourage property owners to lease out empty retail spaces.

Peskin remains in talks with various groups about the measure, but intends to introduce it early next month after considering the idea for more than a year.

“Having a little bit of a stick won’t hurt,” Peskin said.

Details are still being worked out, but the intent is to apply the tax to residential properties with three or more units...

No one seems to question how much

automobiles have changed over the past

80 years. Engines, sizes of cars as well

as their appearances have changed dra-

matically. Our expectations change as

society evolves. So why can’t our city

planning policies and codes allow for a

similar evolution for homes?

Our housing stock has a life which

will not last forever. In San Fran-

cisco most homes over 70-80 years of

age require a tremendous amount of

maintenance. While older homes may

appear to be affordable, first time home-

owners frequently experience the hard

way what the true costs actually are for

maintaining an older structure. Unex-

pected funds are often needed to replace

nob & tube wiring, updating old gal-

vanized plumbing to copper, adding

insulation missi...

The building at 1028 Market St. is in the heart of San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood. Once home to the temporary public marketplace known as the Hall, it has reverted to being a venue for drug dealers and hangers-on. In a different city, one whose rhetoric about addressing its housing crisis was matched by actions, 1028 Market would be nearing completion as a 13-story, 186-unit apartment building. Its 9,600 square feet of new ground floor retail would soon be revitalizing long-distressed blocks of Mid-Market and the Tenderloin.

But 1028 Market was proposed in San Francisco, whose glacial and uncertain housing approval process has left the project in limbo. Despite its housing affordability crisis and jobs/housing imbalance, San Fr...

Development of market-rate housing in San Francisco will slow to a trickle in 2019, because a combination of higher construction costs, escalating fees, a softening market and increased interest rates has persuaded many builders to wait on the sidelines, developers and industry analysts say.

Development “is not going to happen,” said Sean Keighran, president of the Residential Builders Association, which represents developers and contractors. “There are four strikes, and you only get three. It’s hard to foresee a rosy path forward.”

The median price of a single-family home in the city has fallen 15 percent from its peak of $1.7 million in February 2017, according to real estate brokerage Compass. While the median price of $1.44 million i...

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1717 17th St - Suite 105

San Francisco CA 94103

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415-252-1900

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info@rbasf.com