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The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

San Francisco to Receive New Emergency Housing Vouchers to Prevent and End Homelessness for 1,000 People

Critical new support will speed up ability to deliver Mayor Breed’s Homelessness Recovery Plan, which aims to create over 6,000 placements by July 2022

San Francisco, CA — Today, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed announced that the City will receive 887 new Emergency Housing Vouchers to help prevent and end homelessness as part of the American Rescue Plan. Officials estimate the vouchers will be able to help up to 1,000 people in need of housing.

These vouchers are part of a nationwide push being made under the American Rescue Plan by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Secretary Marcia Fudge to provide 70,000 emergency housing vouchers to local public housing authorities across the country. The vouchers will assist individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness, at risk of homelessness, fleeing or attempting to flee violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, or were recently homeless or have a high risk of housing instability.

San Francisco’s housing authority has been provided 887 vouchers, which will be available July 1, 2021. This critical resource adds to San Francisco’s efforts to provide housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco, driven by Mayor Breed’s Homelessness Recovery plan, which is a two-year plan that will create 6,000 placements for people in housing, shelter and other alternatives, by July 2022.

“Our Homelessness Recovery Plan is an ambitious effort to move thousands of people from the streets and into more stable housing opportunities,” said Mayor London Breed. “But we know efforts like this cannot be solved by local governments alone. That’s why this federal investment, and recent partnerships from the state, is so critical. We are beginning to see what happens when all levels of government focus on the crisis facing our cities, and I’m appreciative of the leadership from Secretary Fudge, as well as the leadership of the Administration and Speaker Nancy Pelosi on helping deliver real solutions for people in need.”

“With so many San Franciscans still struggling to make their rent and mortgage payments during this crisis, these new emergency vouchers under the historic American Rescue Plan will help at least a thousand more people keep a roof overhead,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Thanks to the leadership of President Biden, Secretary Fudge and the Democratic Congress, our City can now make important progress toward ensuring all can live with dignity and community in safe, affordable homes. As the House advances transformative investments in housing infrastructure, I look forward to partnering with Mayor Breed to build back a more affordable San Francisco for all our families.”

Housing vouchers are subsidies, paid directly to the landlord on behalf of participating households. Households then pay the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. The program will provide administrative fees to support Public Housing Agencies to address barriers to house people experiencing homelessness in partnership with providers. The program will fund landlord engagement, security deposits, and housing navigation to help prospective tenants find housing that suits their needs, in their neighborhood of choice.

The City, led by the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA), will partner with the homeless system to design a strategy so that vouchers can be issued quickly with a focus on equity. 

“These new emergency housing vouchers will change the lives of the individuals and families who receive them by providing a lifeline,” said Shireen McSpadden, Director, Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. “Vouchers are a critical and effective tool in helping people connect with stable housing opportunities.”

“This humanitarian effort brings us one step further to closing the gap of housing instability for people experiencing homelessness and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking,” said Dr. Tonia Lediju, Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Authority of the City and County of San Francisco.

The Biden-Harris Administration has made delivering housing relief a top priority. The Emergency Housing Vouchers are one of many ways the Biden-Harris Administration is providing immediate and direct relief to help people access and sustain housing. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes a number of provisions, to be administered by HUD and other agencies, including the Emergency Rental Assistance, HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds to create housing and services, and steps to extend and expand other housing programs.

In July 2020, Mayor Breed announced the Homelessness Recovery Plan, which includes a slate of investments in housing, shelter, and prevention to recover from the effects of COVID-19 and make a significant impact on homelessness in San Francisco. The Homelessness Recovery Plan creates a minimum of 6,000 placements for people experiencing homelessness, with a combination of expanding housing options for people experiencing homelessness, adding capacity in the shelter system, and using prevention and rapid rehousing efforts. Under the plan, San Francisco aims to purchase or lease 1,500 new units of permanent supportive housing between July 2020 and June 2022. To date, the City has provided 1,576 new placements, 26% of its goal, and has purchased or leased 769 new units of permanent supportive housing, 51% of its goal. For more information about the Homelessness Recovery Plan, including the City’s progress on achieving its goals, go to