As discussed earlier, Supervisor Jane Kim and Mayor Ed Lee have proposed dueling ballot measures to deal with the city's housing crisis which are both set to go on the November ballot. Kim's measure mandates an overall 30-percent below-market-rate threshold for new housing, and it would trigger an extra conditional-use approval process for new residential buildings any time the ratio of affordable housing in the city's development pipeline slips below the 30 percent threshold. Mayor Lee's initiative, which is somewhat combatively titled Build Housing Now, and it simply codifies his standing promise to get 30,000 new units of housing built by 2020. It also includes a "soft target" of 50 percent below-market-rate housing. Now allies of Kim and Lee and backers of both sides have been having closed-door meetings to try to reach a compromise on this, as the Business Times reports, in order to avoid an ugly and expensive fight leading up to the November election.
One possible item on the table: a possible bond measure in the range of $300 to $500 million on next year's ballot to pay for affordable housing. There's also talk of a new ordinance that would give tenants the right of first offer when their unit or building is being sold.
As Board President David Chiu told the Business Times, "Many of the stakeholders involved understand that if we go forward this way, we’re looking at an incredibly divisive and expensive campaign that won’t actually build any housing."
This will hopefully be worked out in the next couple of weeks, at which point the Board of Supervisors will have to vote to move one or both ballot measures forward onto the ballot. So, yes. Let's build more housing! And build more affordable housing!
Update: As Kim tells the Examiner, "affordable housing" would actually be available not just to very low-income people, due to income limits being based on area median income. "Who does affordable housing include? It includes individuals that make up to $81,000 a year. That is how expensive San Francisco is."