Last summer, the prospect of a bond to help fund affordable housing projects in San Francisco seemed remote. What a difference a year makes. Early Wednesday morning the Board of Supervisors reached an agreement on a proposal to borrow $310 million to finance affordable housing construction and acquisition.
Reforms to rent control are finally a topic of hot debate — but not in San Francisco.
Last year the Public Press wrote about the city’s curious rental laws, which somewhat arbitrarily helps some tenants by limiting yearly rent increases but not others, depending on when the building was put up.
Since then, not much has been done to revisit the issue, even though local leaders have been grasping for ideas to ease the housing crisis here, such as a housing bond of at least $250 million, and additional taxes on home sales to fund affordable housing programs.
San Francisco has become the epicenter of the Bay Area’s affordability crisis, with high-tech corporations moving in, rents climbing skyward, and despair and evictions sweeping through long-established but lower-income communities. Yet for the sold-out crowd of 140 housing-policy visionaries, advocates, experts and activists at Hack the Housing Crisis, San Francisco’s struggle to house its citizens is an opportunity to build a better city for all. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.