SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Politicians in San Francisco say Propositions A and E will have a significant impact on the city’s ability to build much needed affordable housing, but even some supporters say Prop E is overhyped.
“What I think Prop E is primarily designed to do is to give the impression a supervisor is acting on a major problem when actually, they’re taking very, very small steps,” Randy Shaw, the executive director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic said.
Shaw calls Prop E “SF’s huge missed opportunity” in a recent op-ed.
He still supports Prop E and anticipates both A and E will pass, as they’re not facing major political opposition. He’s just cautioning San Franciscans to avoid complacency.
“Prop E is better than nothing, as long as people realize it’s solely very slightly better than nothing and we have to do a lot more. We should use future ballot opportunities to do real change, not phony change,” Shaw said.
Prop E would amend the city planning code to allow 100% affordable housing and educator housing on publicly zoned land, except for parks. Prop E doesn’t have any financing attached to it, but that’s why educators are calling Prop A and E a package deal. $20 million from Prop A would fund educator housing.
Prop A would allow San Francisco to issue $600 million in bond money for affordable housing.
The majority of the funding–$220 million–would go to extremely low income families and individuals. $150 million would pay to repair public housing. Another $150 million would fund the construction of new senior housing, $60 million would go towards preventing the loss of existing affordable housing and $20 million would be earmarked for educator housing.
Supporters of Prop A say it won’t raise taxes. The controller’s office estimates the highest taxes could possibly increase would be less than $101 per year for a home valued at roughly $600,000.
“$20 million is not enough to do any project, you can’t do one project with that amount, so it’s inadequate,” Shaw said.
He says he’d rather see the city rezone the west side, where single family homeowners live.
“For free, San Francisco can create tens of thousands of units to increase affordability, the board [of supervisors] won’t do that because of their alliances with homeowners,” Shaw said.
“Although it’s not a silver bullet, it is going to allow for more affordable housing in every neighborhood in San Francisco,” Maya Chupkov, Communications Director for The Council of Community Housing Organizations, said.
Chupkov says Prop E is a step forward, one educators are hoping San Franciscans will support.
“If you don’t have a home to live in, that takes a lot of opportunities away from you,” Aileen Young, a San Francisco Unified School District educator said.
Young spends more than 50% of her income on housing to live in a house on San Francisco’s west side. She worries she’ll have to move if she doesn’t find a more affordable place to stay. She says being able to live in affordable teacher housing in the city would be “a dream come true.”
To be clear, Shaw says he still supports Prop E–he says he’s just encouraging voters to continue to push for more progress.