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Mayor Lee Announces $500 Million to Accelerate Construction of Affordable Housing In Former Redevelopment Sites

New State Authority in Governor’s Proposed Budget Would Kick Start Thousands of New Homes in San Francisco

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced $500 million in new bonding authority to accelerate funding and construction for approximately 3,000 affordable housing units in the City’s major redevelopment sites: Mission Bay, Hunters Point Shipyard/Candlestick Point, and Transbay. The plan – made possible through Governor Jerry Brown’s State budget proposal - permits the city’s former redevelopment agency to create an accelerated financing plan to develop affordable housing ahead of schedule for neighborhoods experiencing growth and development.

The Mayor’s plan – made possible by a provision in the Governor’s proposed budget - would authorize the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure to issue bonds to finance the construction of 1,800 units of affordable housing by 2020, with an additional 660 units by 2025, and the remaining 540 units by 2030 in Mission Bay, Transbay and Hunters Point Shipyard/Candlestick Point. In addition to affordable housing development, the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure would issue bonds to finance Transbay parks, open space and other infrastructure needs.

Since the State’s dissolution of Redevelopment agencies in 2012, San Francisco has lacked the authority to issue bonds against property tax revenues available in its Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund.  Without state legislation to permit an accelerated financing option, San Francisco would have to wait decades before completing construction on thousands of needed housing units, particularly in developing neighborhoods.

“I am grateful to Governor Brown and his staff at the Department of Finance for working with me to address our City’s acute need for more affordable housing,” said Mayor Lee. “If signed into law, this will provide the City with a powerful tool to build more affordable housing faster. San Francisco continues to face an affordability crisis, and I am committed to using every tool at my disposal to address the need for more housing, and that includes leveraging local, state, and federal resources. I have a $1.1 billion affordable housing investment plan over the next five years to address the City’s need for more affordable housing for our low and middle income families. I look forward to working with Governor Brown and others in Sacramento to push for the passage of this important development tool to accelerate housing construction.”

The authority created by this measure would be distinct from and in addition to the $250 million affordable housing bond that Mayor Lee has proposed for the November ballot. Unlike a local bond measure, the funding authorized by the state bill could be spent only for the completion of housing in Mission Bay, Hunters Point Shipyard/Candlestick Point, and Transbay, where existing redevelopment obligations dedicate land for affordable housing.

Last year, Mayor Lee laid out an ambitious plan to build and rehabilitate 30,000 new housing units by 2020, with more than half within the reach of San Francisco’s low- and middle-income families. Since then, the City has seen an unprecedented level of housing construction, resulting in over 4,300 new and rehabilitated homes. The Governor’s Proposed Budget would help kick-start the creation of thousands of new affordable homes.

The trailer bill will now make its way through the State Assembly and Senate as part of Governor Brown’s budget proposal. The Legislature is required to present a final budget to the Governor by June 15th, and the budget bill and budget trailer bills go into effect immediately upon signature by the Governor. If passed, San Francisco could have the bonding authority as soon as July 1st.