The City doesn’t regulate whether a housing unit can be rented or owned. Units on their own lot can be sold to a buyer, who can either reside in that unit or rent it. Units that are shared on a lot (like a duplex) can be rented out separately or sold as condominium units. Needless to say, there are benefits to increasing the supply of both rental and homeownership units.
Many renters cannot afford to own a home in the current market or qualify for a mortgage, so rental units are an important housing option. However, relying solely on apartments to accommodate renters exacerbates income disparities by concentrating lower wage earners in multi-dwelling areas. Increasing the number of rental units in single-dwelling zones slows the increase in rents (as supply keeps pace with demand). And middle housing options like duplexes, triplexes, and ADUs offer renters intermediary choices to enjoy the benefits of neighborhoods.
Creating more ownership options also has benefits. Owning a home puts a person at a relatively lower risk of displacement compared to renting, adding stability to his or her living situation. Moreover, owning a home is a principle means of building wealth, which translates into intergenerational wealth creation and greater prosperity. Allowing more middle housing in single-family neighborhoods provides more affordable options for entry level homebuyers.
As a result of the displacement risk analysis staff performed (see Question 15), staff presented a series of ideas for programs that could support both renters and homeowners vulnerable to displacement in Section 5 of the Proposed Draft Staff Report and Map Amendments. These programs could operate citywide to help residents remain in their homes as broad housing market trends and national economic forces threaten to displace lower-income renters and homeowners from their homes.