SAN FRANCISCO — Over 100 community leaders, youths, families and neighborhood residents gathered on Sept. 13 at the North Ping Yuen courtyard—Chinatown’s first affordable housing project—to support Proposition B, a measure on the November ballot that will guarantee funding for affordable housing for the next 15 years.
A total of 10,254 units were constructed in the city between 2003 and 2007, but more than two-thirds of these new constructions were market-rate units, while a third were very low- to moderate- income units, according to the Planning Department’s San Francisco Housing Inventory.
Proposition B—requiring no new tax—will establish a baseline appropriation and set-aside that will generate an estimated $33 million each year for the next 15 years and would create approximately 6,000 to 7,000 affordable housing units, half of which would be family-sized units, during that period. The measure also requires greater transparency and public input in The City’s administration of affordable housing dollars.
“Though Proposition B doesn’t solve every problem, it helps by funding the type of affordable housing construction that keeps families from moving away and that preserves the great diversity of our City,” said Vincent Pan, Chinese for Affirmative Action’s executive director.
“If San Francisco doesn’t invest serious dollars into affordable housing, our most cherished neighborhoods could be forever changed,” said Small Business Commissioner David Chiu.
Supporters include eight members of the SF Board of Supervisors, State Senators Carole Migden and Leland Yee, Assembly Members Mark Leno and Fiona Ma and community-based organizations that include Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, Community Housing Partnership, Senior Action Network, St. Anthony Foundation and Chinatown Community Development Center.
Opponents say Proposition B would constrain the budget and The City’s ability to respond to emerging critical needs, and that mandating $2.7 billion for affordable housing over the next 15 years would lead to lost jobs and cuts in city services.