Making a Difference on Homelessness and Affordable Housing

Last month, San Francisco received an early holiday gift when we learned that the City is unexpectedly recognizing a windfall of $415 million. Opportunities like this are incredibly rare, and with this funding we have the chance to make a major impact on our homelessness and housing crises.

Mayor Breed at the opening of 120 units of newly renovated public housing for seniors and people with disabilities earlier this week

A total of $234 million of the $415 million windfall will be allocated to important programs and reserves. This includes $38 million for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, $35 million for San Francisco Unified School District, $15 million for children and family programming, $9 million for the Public Library, $4 million for early care and education, and $2 million for street tree maintenance.

My proposal for the other $181 million would support the creation of nearly 900 new units of affordable housing, preserve and improve over 1,000 units of existing affordable housing, fund the expansion of 300 new spaces in homeless shelters and Navigation Centers, and open 86 behavioral health and substance abuse hospital beds.

The voters have been very clear that we need to address the homelessness and housing crisis that is affecting our City, and I remain focused on solving these issues. I am doing everything in my power to unlock the funding that voters passed this past election, but we know that it may be tied up in the courts an indefinite period of time. In the meantime, this windfall can serve as a bridge allowing us to recognize many of the goals that voters supported until that money becomes available.

Here’s how my proposal works:

$90.5 million — Affordable Housing through The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (One-Time Funding)

Funding to Complete Construction of Homeless Housing Site — $42 million will provide the gap funding for approximately 255 new affordable rental units for formerly homeless adults and seniors.

Predevelopment of Affordable Housing Projects — $6 million in funding will support predevelopment work, such as site planning and design, for approximately three affordable housing sites, an estimated 370 units.

Sunnydale & Potrero Public Housing Upgrades $9 million will be invested to upgrade to over 1,000 existing units at Potrero and Sunnydale, focusing on life-safety, health, and habitability improvements.

Acquisition of 100% Affordable Housing Sites — $14 million to support acquisition of 100% affordable housing sites.

Small Sites Program — $20 million to enable the acquisition and stabilization of existing, at risk, rent-controlled buildings. Estimated to fund roughly 65 units of housing.

$90.5 million — Homelessness, Streets, & Behavioral Health (4 Year Funding)

New Supportive Housing Units for Formerly Homeless Individuals — $30 million to fund 300 new units of permanent supportive housing.

New Shelter and Access for Everyone (SAFE) Emergency Homeless Shelter — $27 million for one 200 shelter bed location for homeless individuals.

Expansion of Existing Navigation Centers — $11 million to fund the expansion of operations at select existing Navigation Centers, an estimated 110 beds.

San Francisco Healing Center Beds — Approximately $9 million to fund 14 additional behavioral health beds at San Francisco Healing Center at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Substance Use Recovery Beds — $10 million to fund 72 additional substance use recovery beds.

Clean Streets/Pit Stops — $4 million to support the expansion of street cleaning programs and the Pit Stop Program, which provides staffed public restrooms.

Outline of Baseline and Reserve Funding

Spending priorities for the remaining approximately $234 million allocated to mandated baselines and reserves:

Education and Children’s Programs — $54 million

San Francisco Unified School District — $35 million

Children’s & Family Programming — $19 million to support workforce development opportunities for youth and fund pre-school tuition subsidies for low-income children.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency — $38 million to help accelerate the purchase of over 150 new light rail vehicles and improve Muni service.

San Francisco Public Library — approximately $9 million to help make key safety and activation improvements to the Main Library.

Street Tree Maintenance — $2 million

City Reserves — $130 million to shore up the City’s economic reserves.

I am excited to have support for this plan from a diverse and committed group of community leaders, service providers, and residents from across our city:

“We are in the middle of a mental health and addiction crisis in our country, our city, and on our streets,” said Dr. Vitka Eisen, President of CEO of HealthRIGHT 360. “We must address this crisis by providing those most in need with the health services that they need and the housing options that they deserve. We must help get people off the street and into a healthier, more prosperous, and more fulfilling future. The investments proposed today make it clear that the Mayor understands the priorities of our residents, and I want to thank her for making such a promising investment in the health of our city.”

“We have the opportunity to make real and transformative investments with these resources in addressing our housing and homelessness crisis,” said Tomiquia Moss, Chief Executive Officer of Hamilton Families. “By prioritizing funding for affordable housing projects which serve formerly homeless individuals and families, expanding shelter options for those experiencing homelessness, and increasing behavioral health services Mayor Breed’s proposal will help us serve those most in need in our City.”

“Chinatown CDC is grateful for the Mayor’s proposal to invest in affordable housing and homelessness which are a priority for the City,” said Rev. Norman Fong, Executive Director of Chinatown Community Development Center. “ We are particularly excited to see a focus on the small site acquisition program. We urge the City to quickly move forward with funding these priorities.”

“San Francisco is in desperate need of more housing and specifically supportive housing for the most vulnerable members of our city, including seniors and people with disabilities,” said Gail Gillman, CEO of Community Housing Partnership. “Mayor Breed’s proposal would not only help those currently experiencing homelessness by opening up new beds in Navigation Centers and shelters, it would also create new opportunities for individuals ready to move into permanent housing as well.”

“San Francisco has a large affordable housing debt that has become a crisis,” said Jamestown Community Center Executive Director and Planning Commission Vice President Myrna Melgar. “We owe this debt to our working class families, our African American and Latino citizens who have been displaced, our seniors, our tenants, the homeless and above all we owe it to our children. When you get a one-time windfall and you owe, you don’t go out and buy something new, or even use it for your regular expenses — you use it to pay your debt. Our debt as a City to the next generation will get a sizable payment because of Mayor Breed’s investment for which I am grateful, as it is long overdue.”

“Every unit of housing is a solution to homelessness, and using these unexpected funds to support those amongst us who are most in need is the right thing to do,” said Beth Stokes, Executive Director of Episcopal Community Services. “Making significant investments in new housing units while also increasing our capacity to provide shelter for people while that housing is built, will go a long way in meeting our shared goal of ending chronic homelessness in San Francisco.”

“This funding will make a real difference in the lives of hundreds of families living in our neighborhoods,” added recent Fisk University graduate and Sunnydale resident Breonna Frierson. “For too long we have been cut off from safe and decent housing, and from real opportunity. This investment that Mayor Breed is willing to make into our neighborhoods finally allows Sunnydale and Potrero Hill to be a part of the rest of San Francisco. Thank you Mayor Breed for giving the community hope and for trying to invest in what often feels like the forgotten.”