SF Mayor commits $100 million to modular housing factory, predicts savings of $50,000 per unit

Mayor London Breed: Taking a $100 million risk with taxpayer dollars

Like many west coast, progressive run cities, San Francisco has a homeless crisis. The city has doubled the amount of taxpayer money they spend on the crisis and as of 2017 there were almost 7,500 homeless citizens.

The homeless are allowed to defecate and urinate on the streets and also use drugs. I’ve chronicled the many problems on the streets of San Francisco. See the following posts:

Yesterday Mayor London Breed announced that taxpayers will be committed to spending $100 million to attract a modular housing factory to build more affordable housing. See her press release here.

Excerpts from her press release:

  • Mayor London N. Breed today announced a commitment of $100 million in City taxpayer funding to purchase affordable housing made using modular construction built in San Francisco. The commitment represents the first production order for a new modular housing facility that will be built in the City in partnership with the San Francisco Building Trades.
  • The City selected the international design firm Nelson Worldwide to conduct a feasibility study for a new modular housing factory on Port-controlled industrial lands. Nelson Worldwide has already started conducting stakeholder meetings, data collection, and analysis necessary to support a future facility to determine capital investment requirements, operational and staffing goals, and supply and demand targets. The second phase of the feasibility study, expected to be completed by the end of year, will develop the business plan for the future factory.
  • “We are in a housing crisis and the reality is we need to produce affordable housing much quicker than we currently do, or we will continue to see displacement of our low and middle-income communities,” said Mayor Breed. “By building a modular housing factory in our own backyard, we can create housing faster and more cost-effectively, while also creating great union jobs in partnership with our labor leaders.”

Whenever government utters the words “cost-effective” and “union jobs” in the same sentence, I question what they have been smoking.

Anyhow, the good mayor left some details out of her press release that I came across in the SF Chronicle story. For example:

  • The city does not know at this time who will run the facility.
  • The mayor hopes the city’s promise to buy modular homes will entice an operator to open a facility.
  • The modular housing manufacturer won’t be providing any homes for YEARS.
  • The city is hoping that modular homes could bring down construction costs by 10 percent as technology improves.
  • Of the total cost for a modular home and land (up to $800,000), city taxpayers fund approximately $350,000 per unit after grants and other funding sources.
  • The mayor thinks the city can shave $50,000 off the cost of each unit.
  • The city is estimating that the $100 million will provide around 400 apartment units.

Read the SF Chronicle article here.

There’s quite a bit of “hopes,” “thinks,” and “estimates” in this taxpayer-funded project.

I think it’s cute that the mayor can make a prediction of cost savings per unit when the feasibility study isn’t even complete. Is she an expert in predicting future construction costs and real estate market values?

I understand a long-term solution is desirable yet question just how competently a progressive, government-run project can effectively solve any issue. One thing I know for sure, that union endorsement is going to pay off for the Teamsters.

DCG

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2 responses to “SF Mayor commits $100 million to modular housing factory, predicts savings of $50,000 per unit

  1. Savings? That’ll never happen.
    Instead, the costs will overrun.

     
  2. I wondered who replaced “Miss Cleo”. Now we know! If they ever get that far, and I doubt it, how will these homeless afford these units? Collecting aluminum cans? Oh, working in the factory of course.

    For that unit cost they could buy them each a house in Oakland. Why don’t they take this money and buy honey buckets? Then they could invest in ticket pads and a tent city for the vagrants. Some of the homeless that want to work could be employed servicing the honey buckets.

    The junkies could either enter rehab or get a one-way ride out of town. First clean up the mess, then make life less appealing for them.

     

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