Housing For All
Creating more housing, for our families at every income level, is a critical priority of my administration. The shortage of housing affordable to low-income, working and middle-income people is a problem that has grown over time, in the face of opposition to development and lack of commitment to housing construction. Quality housing is a critical factor in economic growth, and we will not be able to continue growing opportunities for San Francisco’s workers, unless we can meet their housing needs.
The landmark approval of the Housing Trust Fund in 2012 will invest $1.5 billion in affordable housing production and housing programs over the next 30 years. But it is not enough. To address the pent-up demand and price escalation that have resulted from our housing shortage, we need to commit to housing goals that will protect and retain our existing residents while expanding housing opportunity for new ones. I pledge to construct 30,000 new and rehabilitated homes throughout the City by 2020, with at least one-third of those permanently affordable to low and moderate income families, and the majority of those within financial reach of working, middle income San Franciscans.
And I have a seven point plan to guide us towards achievement of these ambitious targets:
1. Protect our residents from eviction and displacement, including Ellis Act reform.
2. Stabilize and protect at-risk rent-controlled units, through rehabilitation loans and a new program to permanently stabilize rent conditions in at- risk units.
3. Revitalize and rebuild our public housing, by continuing our HOPE SF commitments and improving thousands of other Housing Authority units.
4. Double our downpayment loan programs, which helps recipients address the upfront hurdles of becoming a homeowner, and create more middle income homeownership opportunities, particularly on land under public control.
5. Build more affordable housing, faster, which will require more funding, as well as new tools that spread the burden of its construction from the City to our private partners.
6. Continue to build market rate units, especially rental units, to address the demand crisis that has built up form years of not enough housing.
7. Make construction of new housing easier – both in City departments, with more staff and less process; and in the neighborhoods, by giving those neighborhoods the infrastructure they need to thrive with growth.
My administration will be making strides towards all of these points in coming years, with ambitious legislation and funding proposals to help achieve our goals. And we will track our progress every step of the way, so we are all held accountable for our efforts in creating housing for all. 3 months into our 2014 pledge, we have opened the doors to over 2543 new homes, with over 630 of those permanently affordable.
For the past six months, over 100 housing activists, advocates and experts gave their time and energy to participate in a Housing Working Group, developing strategies that ensure we meet our housing goals. The findings and recommendations of the Mayor’s Housing Working Group can be found here: Housing Working Group 2014 (PDF)