Press Release

Mayor Breed moves forward Charter Amendment and ordinance to streamline affordable and teacher housing

Charter Amendment tackles the overly-bureaucratic approvals process while separate initiative ordinance will rezone public lands for housing

Today, Mayor London N. Breed moved forward a policy she announced earlier this year to rezone public lands for affordable and teacher housing. This ordinance will be paired with her Charter Amendment to streamline the approvals process for affordable and teacher housing projects to create a comprehensive strategy to eliminate bureaucracy and endless appeals to build housing faster. Both measures are scheduled for the November ballot.

“We have to get better at building housing in this City, and we can’t continue to let bureaucracy and endless appeals stand in the way of homes for those struggling to afford to live in this city. By pairing together the Charter Amendment to streamline the production of affordable and teacher housing with the initiative ordinance to rezone public lands for this kind of housing, we can build homes for those who need them faster and without endless bureaucratic delays,” said Mayor Breed. “We need more housing for our low-income and middle-income residents, including our teachers. These two efforts are both necessary and work in concert as they take on two separate issues we have with getting housing built in San Francisco. These proposals will get more units built faster so we can get people into affordable homes now.”

Earlier this year, Mayor Breed announced she would be moving forward a Charter Amendment to streamline affordable housing and teacher housing production, and an initiative ordinance rezoning public lands, except parks, for affordable housing and teacher housing. The Charter Amendment, co-sponsored by Supervisors Vallie Brown, Ahsha Safai, and Catherine Stefani, is currently waiting for a hearing at the Board of Supervisors.

Mayor Breed’s Charter Amendment is designed to ensure that 100% affordable housing projects and affordable teacher housing projects are not caught up in bureaucratic delay by ensuring that these important projects are approved as-of-right. Only a Charter Amendment is able to provide these broad administrative benefits to projects. The policies being pursued in this Charter Amendment cannot be amended by ordinance or taken up by the Board of Supervisors and only the voters are able to amend the Charter through a Charter Amendment.

Mayor Breed’s initiative ordinance to rezone public parcels, except parks, for affordable and teacher housing, which she announced in April, was officially introduced today. This measure is intended to fix another piece of the approvals process, which is that restrictive zoning regulations often get in the way of affordable and teacher housing projects. This initiative was drafted to clear all zoning issues for these important projects, and was crafted specifically to benefit the affordable teacher housing projects currently being pursued by the San Francisco Unified School District.

While the Charter Amendment is the only measure proposed for this November’s ballot that streamlines the housing approval process, members of the Board of Supervisors today introduced a measure similar to the Mayor’s initiative ordinance to rezone public lands. This measure, while similar in overall scope and stated goals to the Mayor’s proposal, is more limited. It will not help the current housing proposals being considered by the School District and would not apply to the existing Francis Scott Key project currently undergoing a rezoning process in the Sunset. The proposal also is more restrictive in its affordability requirements, so it does not provide housing for middle-income people who are priced out of the market today.