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New Affordable Housing Units Cost $1 Million per Apartment to Build in California

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New Affordable Housing Units Cost $1 Million per Apartment to Build in California

Building affordable housing units just got even more costly in popular markets like San Francisco, where subsidized construction projects come with multi-million dollar price tags


June 22, 2022
San Francisco downtown area
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Seven subsidized housing developments in Northern California have received state funding over the last two years and are starting to break ground, but their $1 million price tags mean that taxpayers are financing the construction of fewer apartments than they actually need. Elevated labor and materials prices are a key driver of fast-rising construction costs, which soared to record highs during the pandemic and have yet to normalize in an inflated economy.

The seven projects costing $1 million or more are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and will be the costliest built in California when completed, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Developers and supporters of each project emphasize they’re sorely needed to provide safe and secure homes for lower-income and homeless residents. A proposed 80-unit complex in San Jose for formerly homeless foster youth and families will serve a neighborhood rife with overcrowding with two or three households frequently sharing a single apartment, said Geoff Morgan, president of First Community Housing, the complex’s nonprofit developer.

But Morgan conceded the price tag of just over $80 million is hard to stomach.

“It’s nauseating,” Morgan said. “I hate it.”

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