SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (BCN)– San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston introduced a resolution Tuesday calling on the state to turn the parking lot at a California Department of Motor Vehicles field office in the city into a 100 percent affordable housing site. “It’s a massive, state-owned property, with a mostly-unused parking lot,” Preston said.

“If we’re serious about hitting our affordable housing goals, developing the DMV site for large-scale, permanently affordable housing is a no-brainer.” If passed, the resolution would urge state officials to request the DMV to turn their 98,061-square-foot parking lot at 1377 Fell St. into housing units.

Preston said the surface-level lot is one of the few potential sites for large-scale affordable housing in the heart of the city that would not require demolishing existing housing. Since it is owned by the state, it would be considerably cheaper to begin construction as the city would not have to buy the land.

The resolution was also introduced in light of the Board of Supervisors hearing an update on the draft 2022 Housing Element, quotas set by the state for local governments to boost affordable housing developments. In order to receive state funding, San Francisco must produce 82,069 new housing units by 2031, 57 percent of which must be accessible to low- and middle-income residents.

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“We welcome the ambitious affordable housing targets set in the Housing Element,” said Preston. “But the state needs to do more than just demand streamlining market rate production to get there.

We need partnership from the state to maximize every opportunity for affordable housing, and the DMV site is the perfect starting point.” Preston’s office also said the land could be a key spot to the city’s goal of preserving geographic equity while building affordable housing, given its easy access to other parts of the city with plenty of public transportation lines nearby.

A private developer Build Inc. previously was awarded the DMV lot in 2008 to develop affordable housing, but the plans eventually fell through as they were “unable to make the project work,” according to Preston’s resolution.

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