Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Urban and Public Affairs


College of Arts and Sciences


Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good

First Advisor

Tim Redmond

Second Advisor

Ed Harrington


The affordable housing crisis is not new to San Francisco. As it has been made clear several times, The Bay Area continues to face a crisis of a massive wealth disparity as housing prices continue to rise as incomes for the top earners have risen dramatically since 1999. In San Francisco, rents and housing prices are one of the highest in the nation, and people are facing rent burdens, in which a large portion of their income goes to rent, as for those with low and extremely low income are facing severe rent burdens, which take up more than 50% of their income. But it is with this context that we often overlook how affordable housing is created. What are the systems that drive this complicated machine of affordable housing finance? I proceed to explain the breakdown of affordable housing finance using two case studies: Rosa Parks II and 4840 Mission Street to demonstrate that the affordable housing finance system involves a myriad of both public and private entities to make them possible. With these results, I recommend that the city take steps to make the affordable housing process more efficient. The policies including the consolidation and streamlining of the affordable housing process, such as CEQA exemptions and zoning law reforms, as well as establishing a new public financial institution that can be able to process affordable housing proposals, gain rapid financing options, oversee the land acquisition and land costs, all with one application to efficiently produce more affordable housing.



I would like the opportunity to thank my readers, Tim Redmond and Ed Harrington, for guiding and advising me throughout this chaotic process of producing a capstone thesis, about a complex topic such as affordable housing finance no less.

I would also like to take the opportunity to also thank the Urban and Public Affairs, and especially to both Professor Sarah Burgess, Professor Rachel Brahinsky, and Program Coordinator Kresten Froistad-Martin for their help and guidance, and for making the program one of the best educational experiences I've ever had the honor of being a part of.

I want to say, with all of the emotional conviction that I have, to thank my colleagues of the 2021 Cohort for being the greatest classmates, but even more than that, the best friends that anyone could ever ask for.