San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s inaugural address to a City Hall crowd Wednesday touched on issues of homelessness and affordable housing — chronic issues that have plagued The City for several years.
While Breed applauded The City’s successful thriving economy in the last decade, Breed said:
“I want this to be the decade when we no longer walk by a person shouting, or shooting up, or suffering on our streets, and shrug, or turn away, or wonder, ‘What should I do?’”
Breed touted the opening of the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center and a safe parking facility for vehicle dwellers as important accomplishments last year.
Although measures are in the works to better assist individuals who are homeless or are suffering from mental illness or substance abuse, The City will implement “tough love” strategies.
“We are no longer accepting that ‘compassion’ means anything goes on our streets. Yes, many people are sick and we will offer them help. But if they don’t want or can’t accept services, then we will bring them into treatment.”
On housing, Breed said The City over the next decade needs to build at least 50,000 new homes, including approximately 17,000 affordable housing units.
“To get to 50,000, we can’t let disingenuous warnings of shadows and height get in the way of badly needed new housing. To get to 50,000, we have to recognize that density isn’t a dirty word.”
To meet that goal, Breed said there needs to be support for policies like state Sen. Scott Wiener’s Senate Bill 50, which would increase density around transit-rich neighborhoods.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted last month to oppose SB 50 unless Wiener amended the legislation.
The mayor said:
“We cannot say we need more housing, then reject policies that allow us to actually build that housing. I was not here decades ago when we imposed restrictive laws to prevent new housing, but I will be here when we start building more homes again throughout San Francisco and the entire Bay Area.”
Breed was sworn in for her first four-year term as mayor Wednesday. She was re-elected in November after being initially elected in June 2018 to serve out the remainder of the late Mayor Ed Lee’s term.