Standard procedures for selling or leasing publicly owned land can involve lengthy delays and inflexible requirements for sale to the highest bidder without regard to the planned land use. While the public has an interest in getting the maximum value for publicly owned assets, and ensuring oversight and accountability, these procedures can increase the cost and hinder the goal of promoting the development of affordable housing.

To facilitate more efficient affordable housing development on public land, land disposition procedures can be amended to acknowledge some legitimate public purposes for below-market sales, and to authorize below-market sales specifically for affordable housing. Additionally, some communities have established clear, expedited procedures for the disposition of publicly owned land for affordable homes to increase the predictability and speed of this process.

Case Studies

Surplus City Property Ordinance, II (San Francisco)

San Francisco’s Surplus City Property Ordinance waives the city’s standard requirement that properties must be sold for no less than 100 percent of fair market value. When properties will be transferred for the development of affordable housing or the provision of on-site homeless services, the ordinance allows the transfer to take place for below market value or at no cost.

For More Info:

Teresa Yanga, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development
Email: [email protected]