Why is this important

Housing is traditionally one the largest expenses for a typical household. High housing costs relative to household income means fewer resources for food, utilities, transportation, health care, and child care. This push and pull can result in residents being forced to live in overcrowded housing conditions, accepting substandard housing, moving to where housing costs are lower, or becoming homeless.[i] Crowded housing conditions can increase risks for infectious disease, noise, and fires. Lower cost housing is often substandard and contains various environmental hazards, including mold or pests which can trigger asthma, dangerous fixtures that can lead to falls, and toxins such as lead which can cause disability or death. Displaced households can experience stress from losing social relationships within a community, the difficulties associated with finding affordable new housing, and time, energy and money needed to relocate. The health impacts of housing instability are particularly acute for children, and can lead to behavioral problems, educational delays, depression, low birth weight, and numerous other health conditions.[ii]

San Francisco is known for having one of the least affordable housing markets in the entire world. Insufficient supply and high demand, coupled with widening income inequality, make it challenging for low and middle income workers to remain in the city. Policies like rent control and inclusionary housing have been passed to protect a portion of the housing stock from the volatilities of the market.  This indicator tracks the affordability breakdown to help ensure that a large proportion of the Central Market/Tenderloin housing continues to be affordable.

How are we doing?

The housing pipeline includes all units that are "proposed," "approved," or "under construction." Between 2013 and 2015, both the city and the CMTL area saw a decrease in the percent of pipeline housing units that are planned to be below market rate (BMR). In the CMTL area, this decrease corresponded to an overall decrease in pipeline units, while citywide there was an increase in the total number of pipeline units. In 2019, the percent of pipeline housing units increased 18% after being at 15% in 2017. The overall number of pipeline housing units also increased in 2019 in the CMTL boundary and citywide.

Dataset Source

Housing Pipeline data from Planning Department, 2013-2019.


[i] San Francisco Department of Public Health. “Market Rate Rent Affordability.” San Francisco Indicator Project, 2014. http://www.sfindicatorproject.org/indicators/view/193.

[ii]Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII). “Displacement Brief.” Brief. Oakland, CA: Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative, February 2016. http://barhii.org/displacement/.