SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s newly unveiled two-year budget sets aside nearly $100 million in funds to make the city more affordable. Mayor Lee delivered the robust budget to the Board of Supervisors on Monday and received a positive response from even some of his more common critics.
The budget restores many cuts made during lean years including mental health services and other social programs, while pooling new money into middle and low-cost housing, transportation and programs for the homeless population.
Lee began his address on an upbeat note, saying with the city’s economy on the mend that the city needs to focus on affordability.
“Through this budget, I believe we are making smart, responsible, targeted investments that San Francisco is more affordable and a better place to live for everyone,” said Lee.
Jennifer Friedenbach of the Coalition on Homelessness is a frequent critic of city spending priorities, but even she was cautiously optimistic about where this budget is going.
“There is some really exciting stuff on the budget that is going to be addressing the needs of homeless people. We don’t think it goes far enough.
Supervisor John Avalos said he’d like to take a closer look at the budget.
“Affordability for housing is a huge issue for San Francisco. It looks like the mayor has a lot of funds for that and so I want to look at the details, but I’m hopeful that there’s something that can really make a difference,” he said.
The supervisors have the next month to go through the mayor’s budget line-by-line. Board President David Chiu said his early look is quite positive.
Mayor Lee said his new two-year budget will add almost $22 million for homeless programs and eviction protection.