| SAN FRANCISCO, June 2
SAN FRANCISCO, June 2 San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
unveiled a $94 million initiative on Monday to expand affordable
housing over the next two years in the city's latest bid to
address surging home prices, rental rates and evictions.
A resurgent San Francisco Bay-area economy, led by a booming
high-tech industry and an influx of Silicon Valley workers, has
driven up housing costs throughout the city, pricing low- and
modest-income residents out of the market.
Lee set a goal earlier this year of making 30,000 newly
built or rehabilitated homes available by 2020, with at least
one-third of those units made permanently affordable to poor and
The program he announced on Monday as part of his annual
municipal budget plan calls for $44 million from the city's
housing trust fund and $50 million in borrowed funds to start
construction, including the rehabilitation of nearly 3,500
"I recognize that many San Franciscans are feeling anxiety
about how to make a living and a life in this great city," Lee
said in an executive summary to the proposal. "No matter who I
talk to, the No. 1 issue I hear about is the affordability of
housing in San Francisco."
The mayor's budget proposal requires approval by the San
Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Lee's budget also calls for $51 million to help poor
residents achieve greater self-sufficiency, including increased
investments in programs aimed specifically at preventing
evictions and homelessness.
In April, the Board of Supervisors voted to require
landlords evicting tenants from rent-controlled units to
subsidize those residents' future rent for two years after they
In addition, long-term tenants evicted through the Ellis
Act, a California law allowing property owners to force out
residents of a building removed from the rental market, were
given preference in city-sponsored affordable housing
The Board of Supervisors also approved a measure to bring
thousands of additional housing units onto the market by
legalizing garages converted to living space or semi-detached
dwellings for residential home sales.
In March, the city increased down-payment assistance for
first-time home buyers of modest means.
Growth in the tech industry has helped lift the median
Bay-area home price to just under $1 million, with rental units
averaging $3,400 per month, according to the city controller's
(Editing by Steve Gorman and Will Dunham)