Mayor London Breed and Board President Norman Yee Introduce $500 Million Affordable Housing Bond
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee today announced the introduction of a $500 million Affordable Housing Bond at the Board of Supervisors, which would fund the creation, preservation, and rehabilitation of affordable housing in San Francisco. Supervisors Vallie Brown, Ahsha Safai, Shamann Walton, and Catherine Stefani are co-sponsoring the Bond.
The Bond was crafted by a working group chaired by Mayor Breed and President Yee, consisting of a diverse group of community leaders, housing activists, developers, and neighborhood representatives, and other stakeholders. The Bond would appear on the November 2019 ballot if approved by the Board of Supervisors.
Funding from the Bond would enable approximately 2,000 units of affordable housing to start construction in the next four years. These projects would serve vulnerable residents, including seniors, formerly homeless individuals, veterans and families. Funding would also expand the pipeline for new housing projects, especially for 100% supportive housing projects.
“We are in a housing crisis that is pushing out our low- and middle-income residents. We desperately need more affordable housing, which is why this funding is so important,” said Mayor Breed. “Along with my efforts to streamline the process to get this housing built, this Bond will allow us to create more affordable homes for seniors, continue rebuilding our public housing throughout the City, begin construction on projects for low-income residents that are ready to be built today, and keep current tenants housed.”
“This Housing Bond is an opportunity for us to unite together to invest in one of the most important infrastructure projects there is: building homes we can actually afford,” said President Yee. “This Bond was thoughtfully crafted to address housing needs across the income spectrum. For the first time, there will be dedicated attention to seniors who are especially vulnerable due to their fixed incomes. I am committed to working with the Mayor and my Board colleagues to ensure that this Bond keeps moving in the right direction and is ultimately successful.”
“Right now I have five building sites in District 5 just waiting for funding,” said Supervisor Brown. “The City has owned these sites for years. This bond will provide the critical funding necessary to finally utilize these and many other city-owned sites to help meet our desperate need for more affordable housing.”
“I support the Affordable Housing Bond because it is the kind of strategic and community-oriented approach needed to aggressively tackle our affordable-housing crisis,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safai. “Preserving our City’s cultural richness means investing in low- and middle-income housing: housing for seniors, teachers, nurses, and firefighters - working families - and this Bond hits that mark.”
As a result of the Working Group’s recommendation, the Bond would fund the following uses:
Public Housing – $150 million to repair and rebuild distressed public housing and its underlying infrastructure.
Low-Income Housing – $210 million to finish the construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of permanently affordable, shovel-ready rental projects that will begin construction within four years. These projects would serve individuals and families earning from 0% to 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), including vulnerable populations such as working families, veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, transitional aged youth, and people experiencing homelessness.
Affordable Housing Preservation – Roughly $30 million for the acquisition and rehabilitation of rental housing at risk of losing affordability, whether through market forces or a building’s physical decline. Projects would serve low- to middle-income households earning between approximately 30% and 120% of AMI, such as current residents living in housing at-risk of losing affordability and future generations of tenants.
Middle-Income Housing – Roughly $20 million to fund the creation of new affordable housing opportunities through down payment assistance loans, and the purchase of building or lands for new affordable construction. This serves households earning between 80% and 175 % of AMI and educators through the Teacher Next Door program.
Senior Housing – $90 million to fund the creation of new affordable senior housing rental opportunities through new construction and acquisition. This serves seniors on fixed incomes earning from 0% to 80% of AMI who are especially vulnerable in San Francisco’s housing market.
“Every senior in San Francisco deserves to live in affordable, safe and viable housing” said Anni Chung, Executive Director of Self Help for the Elderly, and Housing Working Group Community Co-Chair. “We hope this Housing Bond will be an important step to create enough senior housing units to prevent homelessness among seniors and retirees who have to leave the city because they cannot afford to live here anymore.”
“Thanks to the working group participants for yielding bond priorities that reflect San Francisco values,” said Malcolm Yeung, Deputy Director of Chinatown Community Development Corporation, and Housing Working Group Community Co-Chair. “The Bond focuses on our most vulnerable populations – extremely low-income households in public housing, seniors and the homeless. And, it will create 900 affordable housing units right away.”
“I am grateful that Mayor Breed has put housing production and preservation at the top of her agenda. Nothing else works if people don't have a safe, affordable place to live,” said Myrna Melgar, Planning Commissioner, and Housing Working Group Community Co-Chair. “This Bond represents a payment towards the future of our City, and an investment in the neighborhoods facing destabilization and displacement, to secure opportunities for our residents and generations to come.”
“San Francisco is experiencing an affordable housing crisis and it has been so valuable to have the bold leadership of Mayor Breed and Board President Norman Yee championing this issue,” said Tomiquia Moss, Executive Director and CEO of Hamilton Families, and Housing Working Group Community Co-Chair. “With this investment, the City can create new affordable homes, especially for our growing senior population, accelerate the rebuilding of distressed public housing sites for some of the City’s most vulnerable residents, protect San Franciscans living in apartments at risk of displacement, and expand rental and home ownership opportunities for the City’s middle-income residents and workforce, including educators, non-profit workers, and service industry employees.”