November 2019: Vote Yes on Props A & E for Affordable Housing

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Prop E addresses the city's affordable housing crisis for mid-income residents and working families, especially teachers. It increases allowed density and height on large lots (over 10,000 sq ft) and publicly owned land (e.g., school and city college land) for multi-family, 100% affordable housing for very low income, Low income, and those earning up to 120 % of Median Income. It does not, however, allow these changes for development on park lands; nor does it allow removal of any existing housing--two aspects of the proposed laws that protect open space and help ensure increases in housing levels, respectively. In other words, Prop E “would allow 100 percent affordable and educator housing to be built on public land.” 

To expedite affordable housing production, the building permit and approval review process is moderately streamlined for projects “where the principal use is affordable housing,” which is defined as housing that is restricted for a minimum of 55 years or the life of the project, whichever is longer, for use by people and families of low or moderate income. For example, projects that meet this definition are exempt from conditional use authorizations and Planning Commission hearings that might otherwise be required by the city Planning Code. There are, however, specific administrative review process these projects must go through to ensure they are consistent with city requirements. The ordinance also requires review of the success and efficacy of the Proposition, and allows the Board of Supervisors to amend it by a 2/3 vote. 

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Prop A is a $600 million General Obligation Affordable Housing Bond to fund the creation, preservation, and rehabilitation of affordable housing in San Francisco. The bond language specifies that the money be allocated to certain categories of housing:

  • $150 million for public housing,

  • $220 million for low-income housing,

  • $60 million for middle-income housing and preservation,

  • $150 million for senior housing, and

  • $20 million for educator housing.

In total, the funds raised are expected to result in construction of some 2,800 units of housing affordable for seniors, formerly homeless persons, veterans, families, and educators. According to the SF Chronicle, Prop A is the “city’s largest-ever affordable housing bond. ”The bond was unanimously passed by the Board of Superviors, and Mayor Breed supports it. But to pass, Prop A needs a 2/3 majority vote. 

These two propositions won't eliminate the city’s housing crisis, but they will provide substantial new or rehabilitated housing toward solving it.

SFLCV urges you to Vote Yes on Props A & E.