SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Friday gave his annual State of the City address and laid out a plan to create 30,000 new and rehabilitated homes in the city by 2020, promising that a third of those would be affordable to low- and moderate-income families.
Lee called skyrocketing rents and a limited housing market a “crisis” for the city that “threatens to choke off our economic growth and prosperity for the future.”
He noted that the economic growth has reduced San Francisco’s unemployment rate from 9.5 to 5.2 percent since he took office in 2011.
“What our housing crisis demands is real solutions and a shared vision,” Lee said outside the former naval shipyard in the city’s Hunters Point neighborhood, where an $8 billion project to construct 12,000 new residential units got started last June after decades of planning and cleanup.
The mayor characterized some of the backlash against rising rents “scapegoating,” including protests of commuter shuttle buses that take residents from San Francisco to jobs at tech companies like Google on the Peninsula.
“They speak of it remarkably only in terms of the negative; perhaps the first time in history that the creation of too many good jobs has been criticized,” he said.
He closed his speech by saying the story of San Francisco is one of rapid spurts of growth. “Each new wave of newcomers has come with a degree of tension.”
Lee laid out a seven-point plan that he said can keep San Francisco affordable to families in the decades to come.
The plan included promises to do more to protect residents from eviction and displacement as landlords may try to push long-term renters out of rent-controlled units.