Housing advocates can rejoice: A measure that aims to create a $310 million fund for much-needed affordable housing won at the polls Tuesday.
Proposition A will allow the city to sell $310 million in affordable-housing bonds to develop and maintain housing for the city’s low- and middle-income households. Under the measure, programs will prioritize “vulnerable” segments of the population, including working families, veterans, seniors and the disabled. Mayor Ed Lee hopes the money will aid his plan to build or repair 30,000 units by 2020.
With results in from all precincts, the initiative won 73.5 percent to 26.5 percent. It needed a two-thirds majority win.
The main organized opposition to the measure came from the Green Party, which called Prop. A a “fake” affordable-housing bond, citing lack of oversight on how the money will be used.
After tense negotiations, the measure earned the backing of all 11 supervisors and Lee in June. Though progressives were satisfied with the final figure, Supervisor John Avalos had initially sought $500 million in bonds. Lee said the city couldn’t afford a bond measure of that size without substantially raising taxes.
One outline of the proposition divvies up the funds four ways: $100 million to build or rehabilitate structures for low-income residents, $50 million for affordable housing in the Mission, $80 million to repair existing public housing, and $80 million to help educators and middle-income residents who are paying rent or are buying their first home.
The bonds will be paid back through a small increase in property taxes. Landlords will be permitted to pass 50 percent of that increase to tenants.
Based on current estimates, the highest annual property tax increase for a home assessed at $500,000 would be about $56.
The initiative, officials said, is just another step toward solving the city’s affordable-housing crisis. It was one of five measures on this year’s ballot focusing on housing and development.
Source: National Mortgage News, San Francisco Chronicle, Jenna Lyons
Photo: A 136-unit rental housing project takes place in the Bayview in San Francisco, Calif., where placed units already have sheetrock and materials. (SF Gate)