The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to place a $600 million Affordable Housing Bond onto the November ballot to fund the creation, preservation, and rehabilitation of affordable housing in San Francisco. The Bond, proposed by Mayor London N. Breed and Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee, is co-sponsored by Supervisors Vallie Brown, Ahsha Safaí, Shamann Walton, Catherine Stefani, Hillary Ronen, and Rafael Mandelman.
Funding from the Bond would enable approximately 2,800 units of affordable housing to start construction in the next four years. These projects would serve vulnerable residents, including seniors, formerly homeless individuals, veterans, families, and educators. Funding would also expand the pipeline for new housing projects, especially for 100% supportive housing projects, fund the rehabilitation of public housing units, and support new housing opportunities for middle-income residents.
In January, Mayor Breed announced that an Affordable Housing Bond would be added to the City’s Capital Plan, which lays out the schedule of the upcoming 10 years of General Obligation Bonds. Previously, there had been no Affordable Housing Bond scheduled for any upcoming election. Mayor Breed then worked with Board President Norman Yee to convene a working group consisting of a diverse group of community leaders, housing activists, developers, neighborhood representatives, and other stakeholders to craft the measure, which was officially introduced in April. The Board of Supervisors will take a second vote on July 16th before the Bond is officially placed on the November 2019 ballot. The Bond requires 2/3 voter approval.
“We are in a housing crisis that is pushing out our low- and middle-income residents and we desperately need more affordable housing,” said Mayor Breed. “This Bond will allow us to create more affordable homes for seniors, continue rebuilding our public housing throughout the City, begin construction on projects for low-income residents that are ready to be built today, and keep current tenants housed. Building more housing requires a wide range of solutions, and this Bond is a key part of that effort.”
“This Bond is a reflection of what is possible when we work together collaboratively. I am hopeful that the voters of San Francisco will agree overwhelmingly that affordable housing is a public need and that this Bond is worthy of their support,” said Board President Norman Yee. “I look forward to ongoing discussions to ensure that we continue this momentum and increase our local investments to housing where the Federal government has fallen short. With this funding, we will be able to preserve existing housing and bring nearly 2,800 units online. I am also proud to see that this Bond is comprehensive in addressing households across the income spectrum and is dedicating funding to address the growing crisis that our City’s senior population is facing.”
“San Franciscans want more options to stay and grow right here in San Francisco—not in Oakland, not in Daly City,” said Supervisor Vallie Brown. “We need to raise funds now to build more affordable housing. That’s at least half the battle.”
“I am a proud co-sponsor of our historic $600-million-dollar bond that will fund the creation and rehabilitation of affordable-housing without raising property taxes,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí. “The bond is expected to yield at least 2,000 new units, will expedite shovel-ready projects, and provide funding for low-income seniors and middle-income families, a win-win for everyone.”
“This bond will allow us to complete the rehab and construction of public housing in San Francisco and ensure that some of the city’s families with low incomes have quality homes,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton. “In addition, we will build affordable housing through the bond, so that we can work towards our goals of making San Francisco more affordable for everyone.”
“This bond is essential for us to create housing for working families, people exiting homelessness, seniors and people with disabilities, educators, nonprofit workers, and all those struggling to stay in San Francisco,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “With the Mission continuing to be ground zero for evictions and displacement, I needed to be sure that the bond would support affordable developments in my district. I am proud to have added my name as co-sponsor, and am confident that, with the unanimous support of the Board and the Mayor, we will get this bond passed in November.”
“The neighborhoods that I represent have seen the highest number of Ellis Act evictions in the City, yet have seen far too little new affordable housing production. This affordable housing bond, which is the largest in San Francisco history, will allow us to preserve existing affordable units and build new homes for seniors, youth and families in District 8 and across the City,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman.
As a result of the Working Group’s recommendation, the Bond would fund the following uses:
Public Housing – $150 million to repair and rebuild distressed public housing and its underlying infrastructure.
Low-Income Housing – $220 million to finish the construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of permanently affordable, shovel-ready rental projects that will begin construction within four years. These projects would serve individuals and families earning from 0% to 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), including vulnerable populations such as working families, veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, transitional aged youth, and people experiencing homelessness.
Affordable Housing Preservation – Approximately $30 million for the acquisition and rehabilitation of rental housing at risk of losing affordability, whether through market forces or a building’s physical decline. Projects would serve low- to middle-income households earning between approximately 30% and 120% of AMI, such as current residents living in housing at-risk of losing affordability and future generations of tenants.
Middle-Income Housing – Approximately $30 million to fund the creation of new affordable housing opportunities through down payment assistance loans, and the purchase of building or lands for new affordable construction. This serves households earning between 80% and 175% of AMI and educators through the Teacher Next Door program.
Senior Housing – $150 million to fund the creation of new affordable senior housing rental opportunities through new construction and acquisition. This serves seniors on fixed incomes earning from 0% to 80% of AMI who are especially vulnerable in San Francisco’s housing market.
Educator Housing – $20 million to fund the pre-development and construction for permanent affordable rental housing serving San Francisco Unified School District and City College of San Francisco educators and employees earning between 30% and 140% of AMI.
“This bond is an important step in expanding and creating more opportunities for safe and affordable housing for seniors,” said Anni Chung, Executive Director of Self Help for the Elderly, and Housing Working Group Community Co-Chair. “As the City’s senior population increases, these resources are a critical part of helping us to ensure residents are able to age with the dignity and support they need in their communities.”
“San Francisco’s housing affordability crisis is impacting too many of our residents,” said Tomiquia Moss, Executive Director and CEO of Hamilton Families, and Housing Working Group Community Co-Chair. “By working collaboratively with Mayor Breed, President Yee, and countless community stakeholders, we have crafted a bond which will invest in housing for some of our City’s most vulnerable residents including seniors, those exiting homelessness, and renters at risk of displacement, while also creating opportunities for middle income residents. These funds will also allow us to continue to advance our long-standing commitment to rebuilding our City’s dilapidated public housing sites and transforming them into thriving communities.”
“San Francisco’s most important strength is the incredible diversity of its communities. We must pass this bond to ensure that our diverse communities continue to have a home in this city,” said Malcolm Yeung, Deputy Director of Chinatown Community Development Corporation, and Housing Working Group Community Co-Chair.