Creating More Affordable Housing

$1 billion identified and more to come

London Breed
Nov 2 · 5 min read

The issues that we’re currently facing when it comes to housing did not develop overnight, but over decades. That means that it’s going to take fundamental change to right the wrongs of the past and make sure we don’t end up with the same issues down the road.

We need more housing in San Francisco, plain and simple, and we especially need more affordable housing for our low-income households, seniors, teachers, formerly homeless people, veterans, and middle-income residents.

That’s why we’ve worked hard to find over $1 billion for a range of affordable housing programs, including over $180 million identified in the most recent budget, previous budget investments since I took office, and the $600 million in the affordable housing bond that’s on the ballot.

This $1 billion builds on the over $900 million we have already committed in the budget to create affordable housing throughout our City.

Our most recent investments in the City budget

With these investments, we are building and rehabilitating housing, creating stronger and healthier communities, and investing in the people who live in San Francisco. As we work to build more housing now, we must not lose sight of what is coming ten, 20, or 30 years down the line. We will continue allocating funding for affordable housing and finding new sources of funds to make sure that we can keep building and preserving housing for San Franciscans.

We know that funding is just part of the challenge. Unfortunately, our current systems and bureaucracy often make it difficult to get new housing and renovations approved, which delays our efforts to build quickly. If we are ever going to fix our housing affordability crisis, we have to make significant changes to how we plan and construct, and we have to be open to solutions that make it easier and faster to build much-needed housing.

We have to cut the red tape, eliminate barriers, and reduce bureaucracy — for all housing, for everyone. The housing crisis is urgent. We don’t have time to wait.

Mayor Breed at press conference announcing efforts to streamline permitting of Accessory Dwelling Units

The $1 billion identified for affordable housing since I took office includes:

· $600 million in the Affordable Housing Bond, and

· Over $400 million identified the City budget.

Affordable Housing Bond

The $600 million Affordable Housing Bond is the largest housing bond in the City’s history. It would enable approximately 2,800 units of affordable housing to start construction in the next four years, without raising property taxes. 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.

Over $400 million in the City Budget

The City budget for the next two fiscal years includes the following affordable housing investments:

Acquisition and development of affordable housing

This funding allows us to buy more land for the construction of housing and to fully-fund more affordable housing projects through the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

Announcing the City’s purchase of 1515 South Van Ness in the Mission to build new, 100% permanently affordable housing

Affordable housing preservation

With this funding, we’ll be able to preserve rent-controlled housing that already exists in the city and keep residents housed in their buildings. With more funding for the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund, we can move quickly to provide loans to protect affordable housing, such as

· The acquisition and preservation of the El Rio bar and upstairs apartments in the Mission, or

· Supervisor Vallie Brown’s preservation of a seven-unit building at 520 Shrader St.

Mayor Breed with resident of a Small Sites Acquisition property in the Outer Sunset

Rental subsidies & emergency rental assistance

We’ve identified funding to help vulnerable residents remain housed and prevent displacement and possible homelessness.

Trans and gender nonconforming residents are 18 times more likely to experience homelessness than the general population, so we made sure to include specific funding for trans people. That’s why we funded the Our Trans Home SF program, to provide rent subsidies to at least 55 trans households over the next two years.

Emergencies can happen to anyone, whether that’s the sudden loss of a job or a medical emergency. That’s why we fund an emergency rental assistance program to makes sure we can help people out in their time of need so they don’t end up displaced or homeless.

Continued Right to Counsel

We want to make sure that anyone facing eviction has access to high-quality legal representation. To do that, we’ve identified funding to continue supporting a network of legal service organizations, client intake, and case management.

Stabilizing the San Francisco Housing Authority

After years of mismanagement and failing to conduct its essential functions, it’s time for the Housing Authority to change. We’re restructuring and transforming the San Francisco Housing Authority so that it better serves the needs of people living in public housing in our City. As we work on these changes, our main priority is keeping the over 12,000 public housing residents secure in their homes.

Mayor Breed at the ribbon cutting for 25 Sanchez, which was rehabilitated under the Rental Assistance Demonstration program and provides affordable homes for seniors

Time to get to work

I’m proud that we’ve identified over $1 billion for affordable housing, but we have a lot more to do. We need to cut red tape and streamline our systems so that we can use this funding create more housing quickly. In addition to making it simpler and more straightforward to build and preserve housing, we’ll keep adding more funding for affordable housing in San Francisco so that we don’t end up with another housing crisis in the future. Now let’s get to work!

London Breed

Written by

45th Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade