War on Single Family Homes Continues in San Francisco as Advocacy Group Sues to Demand Multi-Unit Housing

Modern cottage with green backyard
Max Vakhtbovych/Pexels

Though the majority of people aspire to having a single family home in a safe and pleasant suburban neighborhood, activists are taking legal action to force density by inserting multi-unit housing in San Francisco, California.

The legal arm of a group favoring housing density filed suit claiming city officials violated laws by halting the construction of a 469-unit housing project in a tower near Sixth and Market streets.

The “housing advocacy” group is named to mock the Not in My Backyard movement, which has roots dating back to at least the 1980s when homeowners advocated for having a say in the fate of their neighborhoods.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Yes in My Backyard — or YIMBY’s — lawsuit:

The 19-page lawsuit, filed in San Francisco County Superior Court, alleges San Francisco officials violated a number of laws — such as the California Environmental Quality Act, the Housing Accountability Act, the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, and the Permit Streamlining Act — when the Board of Supervisors rejected the 469 Stevenson housing project “after four years of planning and approval by the Planning Department, based on vague claims of ‘inadequate analysis’ in the CEQA review rather than on documented findings as required by law.”

YIMBY Law also filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, citing similar alleged violations of housing laws.The organization previously filed a separate lawsuit against San Francisco in connection with a housing project located at 450 O’Farrell in 2021, when the Board of Supervisors rejected a home development at that location.

Sonja Trauss, the executive director of YIMBY Law said in a statement that the organization is “determined to see that local jurisdictions implement the laws we worked so hard to help pass.”

“Today’s filing is the third in a series against San Francisco and Los Angeles,” Trauss said. “It’s time for accountability; there will be more to come if cities don’t comply.”

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.