Mayor Edwin M. Lee together with Board President London Breed and Supervisors Julie Christensen, Malia Cohen, Mark Farrell, Katy Tang, and Scott Wiener introduced a $250 million Affordable Housing General Obligation Bond at the Board of Supervisors. If adopted by the Board and approved by voters in November, it would be the largest housing bond in San Francisco history and would strategically invest in public housing and affordable housing for low income and middle income families. Housing programs such as the first-time homebuyer programs and the Teacher Next Door program will be expanded and the bond would help stabilize rental units at risk of evictions. The $250 million Affordable Housing Bond would not raise property taxes.
“San Francisco’s housing crisis demands our continued and aggressive action, and this proposed $250 million housing bond will provide the resources we need to speed up the construction of housing for low and middle income families – without raising property taxes,” said Mayor Lee. “This bond increases our investments in housing to stabilize existing neighborhoods, increases the affordability for our City’s families, and builds on our goal to build and rehabilitate 30,000 new homes by 2020. Housing that is affordable to low and middle income households promotes diversity, equity, and economic vitality, which are cornerstones that support our thriving City and working families.”
“Creating affordable housing – and rehabilitating the housing we already have – has been one of my highest priorities on the Board of Supervisors, and I am grateful to have Mayor Lee as a partner in these efforts,” said Board President Breed. “We need to build about 18,000 new affordable units in the next seven years. Yet in the last seven years, we only built one third that number. That is why Mayor Lee and I are launching this $250M bond drive today, to build more housing for people of all income ranges – without raising taxes. I am proud to help lead this campaign.”
Mayor Lee is committed to investing $2.7 billion to address the City’s ongoing affordability crisis over the next 20 years. The 2015 Affordable Housing Bond is a crucial component of Mayor Lee’s $1.1 billion 5-year affordable housing response plan that will build, rehabilitate and preserve over 10,700 permanently affordable homes for low and middle income families.
The 2015 Affordable Housing Bond proposes three categories of investments – public housing, housing for low income families, and housing for middle income families. The 2015 Affordable Housing Bond will support geographically targeted construction of affordable housing, acquisition of existing rental buildings in which tenants are at risk of eviction, repair of dilapidated public housing, and create middle-income rental programs. In addition, the first-time homebuyer programs will be expanded, and the Teacher Next Door program will be renewed and increased.
Public housing generally serves formerly homeless, seniors, disabled, and low-wage working families. Low income housing serves working households including preschool teachers, nonprofit workers, restaurant workers, and retirees. Middle income housing serves workers including teachers, firefighters, and professionals.
If passed, the 2015 Affordable Housing General Obligation Bond proceeds will immediately be put to use. Spending proceeds of the 2015 Affordable Housing Bond will be overseen by the Citizens’ General Obligation Bond Oversight Committee (GOBOC), an independent, nine member committee appointed by the Mayor, the Board of Supervisors, the Controller, and the Civil Grand Jury. To prioritize which programs to implement first, three key factors will be considered: urgency of need, project impact and location, and residents that program will benefit. Each program will consider geographic and social equity, and whenever possible, local, State, and Federal sources will be used to increase efficiency and effectiveness of investments.
The 2015 Affordable Housing Bond was developed by the Affordable Housing Bond Working Group, a group assembled by Mayor Lee with members of the Board of Supervisors and representatives from different sectors of the real estate industry, including affordable housing developers, market rate developers, realtors, lenders, and property owners. The Group was asked to develop consensus around eligible uses for the programmatic bond.