Mayor London Breed Unveils Balanced Budget to Support Recovery and Meet City's Top Challenges
Two-year budget proposal sets City priorities in supporting a sustained and equitable economic recovery and addressing critical issues that include homelessness, public safety, behavioral health, and youth and family support
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today unveiled her budget proposal for Fiscal Years (FY) 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. The budget proposal includes important new investments to support San Francisco’s economic recovery, continue the COVID-19 response, ensure public safety, provide behavioral health care, prevent homelessness and transition people into services and housing, create more housing, promote nonprofit sustainability and equity initiatives, and support children, youth and their families.
The annual $13.1 billion for FY 2021-22 and $12.8 billion for FY 2022-23 budget seeks to be responsive to the City’s most urgent needs as it moves forward on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, while preserving long-term financial sustainability. Mayor Breed announced her budget at the Willie ‘Woo Woo’ Wong Playground—a center for community engagement and recreation in the heart of Chinatown. The renovated playground and clubhouse opened in February, and is an example of the types of capital projects that Mayor Breed is proposing to support in the budget.
The proposed budget follows months of collaborative work with elected officials, City departments, non-profit organizations, neighborhood groups, merchants, residents, and other stakeholders. Mayor Breed and her staff conducted a comprehensive public outreach process, consisting of a public meeting to obtain input on budget priorities, two town halls, and online feedback to hear from residents on their priorities and reflect them in the budget.
“San Francisco demonstrated our values and resilience over the last year, and I have no doubt that we will come back even stronger from COVID-19,” said Mayor London Breed. “As we move forward out of the pandemic this budget will ensure that our recovery is equitable and that we are delivering solutions to the most important issues impacting our city. We’re making significant investments to reduce homelessness, expand mental health support, support public safety, and address the social inequities laid bare by this pandemic, while also making responsible choices that maintain our budget reserves so we can continue providing critical City services and support for our most vulnerable residents, no matter what lies ahead.”
Driving a Sustained and Equitable Economic Recovery and Continuing City’s COVID-19 Response
The Mayor’s proposed budget invests approximately $477 million over the two years for various initiatives to drive and accelerate the City’s economic recovery, while also supporting the City’s COVID-19 response. Major recovery initiatives include Community Ambassadors and events and activities to enliven San Francisco’s downtown, backfilling the loss of hotel tax revenue for the arts, addressing student learning loss, the Women and Families First Initiative, incentivizing the return of conventions at the Moscone Center, a new Trans Basic Income pilot program, and continuing the JobsNow workforce program and Working Families Credit.
Of this total, about $384 million will be spent to continue the City’s COVID-19 shelter response, food security programs, vaccination efforts, testing operations, and the COVID-19 Command Center. Funding will also support community-based COVID-19 recovery programming, specifically targeting resources to populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This funding includes small business support, economic relief, workforce development funds, and various arts, cultural, and recreational programming.
Making Historic Investments in Homelessness and Housing
Mayor Breed’s proposed budget includes significant investments to address homelessness in San Francisco and expand the work started through the Homelessness Recovery Plan to create 6,000 placements for people experiencing homelessness. In total, the budget leverages over $1 billion over the next two years in local, state, and federal resources to add up to 4,000 new housing placements, prevent homelessness and eviction for over 7,000 households, support additional safe parking sites, and fund the continuation of a new 40-bed emergency shelter for families. All of these investments are in addition to prior commitments. This funding will enable the City to cap all Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) rents in the City’s PSH portfolio at 30% of a tenant’s income.
Expanding Mental Health and Substance Use Support
Continuing her commitment to helping people with behavioral health and substance use issues, Mayor Breed’s budget contains approximately $300 million in new investments for behavioral health services. Included in the budget is funding to prevent overdoses through medication assisted treatment, a drug sobering site, and expanded naloxone distribution. The budget also includes funding to support new and existing Street Response Teams, including the Street Crisis Response Team, Street Wellness Response Team, and Street Overdose Response Team. This investment will fund the City’s plan to add over 340 new treatment beds, provide case management and care coordination for people receiving services, and expand services at the City’s Behavioral Health Access Center. This investment will also provide targeted services for transgender and Transitional Age Youth clients, and increase services for clients in shelters and Permanent Supportive Housing.
Investing in Public Safety, Victims’ Services, and Justice Innovations
The Mayor’s budget includes over $65 million over the two years to prevent violence, support victims, continue the City’s investments in alternative responses to non-criminal activity, and create an Office of Justice Innovation to oversee, implement and work with community to expand this critical work. The budget includes expanded violence prevention programming and funding for victims’ rights, including targeted investments to support community-based violence prevention and intervention work, and to San Francisco’s Asian and Pacific Islander community. The proposed budget includes funding to maintain police staffing levels, including funding for new academy classes and staffing to support compliance with SB 1421 as part of City’s efforts to increase accountability, which includes implementing the 272 Department of Justice recommendations.
To strengthen the City’s non-law enforcement response to non-criminal activity, the proposed budget includes new funding for Street Response Teams and to support call diversion. Additionally, the budget includes funding to replace Sheriff’s deputies at public health sites with trained health care professionals and community members.
Supporting Children, Youth, and Their Families
Mayor Breed is proposing $144 million over the two years to lay the groundwork for early learning and universal preschool in San Francisco. This includes funding for childcare subsidies, workforce compensation for childcare providers, child health and wellbeing, and Family Resource Centers. The budget also maintains the City’s existing investments in children and youth, invests significant new funding to address learning loss, funds mental health for SFUSD students, and supports the Mayor’s Opportunities for All initiative.
Supporting Long-Term Economic Justice Strategies
The Mayor’s budget continues the City’s $60 million annual investment in the Dream Keeper Initiative, which Mayor Breed launched to reinvest in services and programs that support San Francisco’s Black and African American community. The proposed budget also includes funding to waive additional fees and fines paid to the City by San Francisco residents. Additionally, the budget supports the City’s efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion and ensure citywide coordination of equity work. The Mayor’s proposed budget also makes a significant investment in the sustainability of the City’s nonprofit partners with $76.4 million for an ongoing cost of doing business increase.
Investing in Capital Projects and Affordable Housing
The Mayor is proposing significant investments in capital and one-time projects, which will create jobs and spur economic recovery. The proposed budget provides $50.6 million to support affordable housing developments in San Francisco. The proposed budget also includes $208 million for projects from the City’s Capital Plan, including street and parks infrastructure improvements, an expansion of fiber to affordable housing, and community facility improvements. The proposed budget also includes funding to replace aging equipment in the Fire and Police departments, as well as funding to purchase a site for an LGBT Cultural Museum.
Ensuring Financial Resilience
Mayor Breed’s proposed budget makes the above significant investments in a way that is financially responsible. By utilizing funding from the American Rescue Plan and other one-time sources, the City is able to maintain its reserves. This allows the City to preserve its Rainy Day Reserve for future uncertainty and risk. To hedge against future risk and uncertainty, the Mayor’s proposed budget re-allocates unappropriated funds to create two new reserves that will help to manage unforeseen costs due to potential FEMA reimbursement disallowances and to manage future budget shortfalls.
Mayor Breed’s complete budget proposal for FY 2021-22 and 2022-23 can be found here.
Through the end of June, the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Appropriations Committee will hold public hearings on the budget, and will make recommendations to the full Board. In July, the budget is heard and voted on by the full Board of Supervisors, and returns to the Mayor for her approval, typically by August 1st.