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S.F. homeless housing group aims to build homes for half the usual cost. Can it work?

As San Francisco struggles to figure out how to build enough affordable housing to help get homeless people off the streets, experts and officials have looked at different ways to build faster and cheaper.

New data released Friday shows that at least one recent project, a South of Market supportive homeless complex, was completed 41% faster and 41% cheaper than comparable supportive housing developments…

…The new report on the Bryant Street project, from the Urban Institute and the California Housing Partnership, takes an in-depth look into the methods behind the savings and how they might be applied in the future.

The report found that the project was able to save money by making the studios small and efficient. Every unit is 260 square feet, about one-third smaller than a typical supportive housing studio. It also took less than three years from approval to move-in. Typically, affordable housing projects take about five years to win approval and build, and sometimes longer.

SF homeless housing group aims to build homes for half the cost (link to pdf of full story)