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Experts say building housing for San Francisco Bay homeless will cost at least $13 billion

Building Construction For Homeless Housing In San Francisco Illustration

California’s nine-county Bay Area — from Sonoma in the north to Santa Clara in the south — has roughly 28,200 people experiencing homelessness, ranking it third nationally after New York and Los Angeles.

A 2019 report estimated it would cost $12.7 billion to building enough housing for the bay area’s 28,200 homeless, assuming a construction cost of $450,000 per unit (although housing costs in San Francisco are more than $700,000 per unit when land is factored in according to the report).

An additional $700 million per year – assuming $25,000 per homeless person – to fund ongoing services.

The low price of $25,000 per person per year for ongoing services takes in the effect of the full range of homeless levels, from chronic to temporary.

On the contrary, Citizens Again will cost substantially less. By building outside the urban core and by building a single location the city can utilize economies of scale to bring down the overall costs. From the early conceptual estimates, it’s believed the entire City – which will have a capacity of up to 150,000 population – will cost a total of $3 billion. That breaks down to approximately $60,000 per unit (about 50,000 total units).

Duane Nason

Founder of Citizens Again. Certified crazy guy trying to end homelessness. Lifelong entrepreneur, degree in mathematics, software engineer by trade.

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