Introduction

San Francisco’s housing crisis is an opportunity to improve
the quality of urban life and the quality of its neighborhoods.

Dom-i-city is a new type of urban housing, one that addresses the needs of workforce and middle-income families. It delivers benefits to local residents and their neighborhoods while using land more efficiently. Characterized as “domiciles in the city”, it focuses on creating family-friendly homes and lively, walkable neighborhoods.

It addresses the dilemma of families wanting to live in family-oriented neighborhoods, but neighborhoods not wanting new housing and more families. Furthermore, it meets the challenges of land, affordability and delivery that have stymied the production of affordable middle-income family housing.

Dom-i-city makes it possible for seniors to age in place, for young families to afford a place in the city, and for teachers, health workers, firefighters, police and others in the workforce to live in the community they serve and protect.

Deadly neighborhoods built in the 30’s and 40’s with little regard for quality, safety or livability are upgraded by a design that improves the streetscape, the neighborhood and property values. In the process the street is reclaimed to serve the purposes and pleasures of local residents.

A community space in every building is dedicated for social and cultural purposes or for small scale retail and personal services. The quality of neighborhood life is enhanced by these amenities and conveniences.  They become  means for creating real communities.

Dom-i-city accomplishes this with a three-part solution. It is a product, a strategy and a program. As a product it is a sustainable mid-rise building offering15 family-sized homes and a landscaped courtyard on three standard city lots. The strategy to change the dynamic of neighborhood opposition is based on building a pilot version of Dom-i-city. Complementing product and strategy, the program describes ways and means to overcome the obstacles of land, affordability and  delivery to achieve the goal of 10,000 new homes.

Politically viable, Dom-i-city needs no new taxes, bonds or subsidies. It does not compete for resources dedicated to low-income programs. It implements HOME-SF with family-friendly homes for workforce and middle-income households.

Dom-i-city overcomes the entrenched deficiencies of a 100-year old plan with a vision for a 21st century city focused on issues of livability and sustainability.

sf-westside-aerial-viewThe legacy of an inefficient 20th century plan.