San Francisco voters will decide the fate of a $600 million housing bond measure this November that city officials say will benefit low-income, middle-income and senior housing if approved.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the bond measure for the ballot, making it the largest affordable housing bond in The City.

During a rally at City Hall before Tuesday’s vote, Mayor London Breed said:

“This affordable housing bond has something for everyone, including our seniors.”

Jerold Chinn/SFBay San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks to a crowd of supporters of a $600 million affordable housing bond measure during a rally in San Francisco, Calif, on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.

Breed continued:

“In addition to providing support for seniors, we’ll be providing support for our low- and middle-income residents, for our teachers for down payment assistance. So, there’s something for everyone and it was a compromise.”

The housing bond was originally set at $300 million, but was increased to $600 million in May after The City’s controller said San Francisco could take on an increased debt capacity without increasing property taxes.

Supervisors debated how bond funds would be allocated at last month’s Budget and Finance Committee meeting. At that time, they agreed to increase funding for low- and middle-income housing each by $10 million. Middle-income housing funds would provide new affordable housing options for households making between 80 percent to 175 percent of the area median income.

Supervisors also decided to direct $20 million to new housing construction for San Francisco Unified School District and City College of San Francisco teachers who earn between 30 and 140 percent of the area median income.

The bond funds would also be used to create affordable housing rental opportunities for seniors living on fixed incomes with repair of public housing units and acquisition and rehabilitation of additional units.

President Norman Yee of the Board of Supervisors, who crafted the measure with the mayor, told the crowd at the rally:

“Today is going to be a historical vote up at the chambers.”

The measure’s approval will require two-thirds of the vote in November.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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