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Mayor Lee’s Statement on Housing Trust Fund Approval for November Ballot

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today issued the following statement on the Board of Supervisors’ final approval to place the Housing Trust Fund Charter Amendment on the 2012 November ballot, which if approved by San Francisco voters, will provide a permanent source of revenue to fund the creation of housing that is affordable to low and middle income households in San Francisco for the next 30 years:

“A growing and vibrant economy requires a growing and diverse supply of new housing in our City. Creating a permanent source of revenue to fund the production of housing in San Francisco will ensure that San Francisco is a viable place to live and work for everyone, at every level of the economic spectrum. I applaud the Board of Supervisors for giving their strong support for placing our Housing Trust Fund Charter Amendment on the November ballot.

With the elimination of the Redevelopment Agency, the City has lost its primary engine for producing affordable housing. I campaigned on and remain committed to stabilizing and increasing middle to low income housing. Building more affordable and middle class housing and housing for our first responders will further build our economy and create jobs in San Francisco.

Diverse interests came together through the Housing Trust Fund Working Group – from the real estate industry, including affordable housing developers and market rate developers and realtors to lenders to housing activists to small property owners to members of the Board of Supervisors. Together, after years of debate, we have developed a long-range sustainable plan to fund affordable housing production, increase homeownership opportunities and stimulate market-rate production, especially in areas planned for growth, to help keep working families in San Francisco.”

The Housing Trust Fund, if approved by voters, will begin with a general fund revenue capture in year one of $20 million and increase to $50 million over time. If approved by voters, an estimated $1.5 billion will be invested in affordable housing production and housing programs over the next 30 years. The fund will:
·    Develop more than 9,000 units of permanently affordable housing for residents whose average median income (AMI) is 60 percent or below. Those projects include the HOPE SF rebuild of Sunnydale and Potrero, and the Hugo Hotel;
·    Incentive the creation of onsite below market rate housing and make it more accessible for moderate income families;
·    Invest at least $15 million over the first five years in a down payment assistance program that will retain San Francisco’s first responders in the city and will provide interest-free loans to moderate income homebuyers who are looking to purchase their first home in San Francisco;
·    Create a Housing Stabilization Program to help distressed low and moderate income residents remain in their homes; and
·    Create a Complete Neighborhoods Infrastructure Grant program to will fund public realm improvements like parks, child care facilities and libraries for growing neighborhoods.

The Housing Trust Fund will capture revenue from former Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Tax Increment, a small portion of Hotel Tax that has been appropriated yearly for affordable housing, plus an additional $13 million in new General Fund revenue from an increase in business license fees. A consensus business tax reform measure will be heard next week by the Board of Supervisors for consideration on the November ballot that would generate $28.5 million in the first year – $13 million of which will go towards funding affordable and workforce housing through the Housing Trust Fund.