Supervisor London Breed published an article in the Examiner this morning about her upbringing at Plaza East in the Western Addition and the need for San Francisco to preserve low-income housing for long-time neighborhood residents in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. But she actually got much of her wish before the paper went to print last night, a fact that she appears to be celebrating with the above tweet: The Associated Press reports that a city plan to set aside 40 percent of affordable units in subsidized housing complexes for residents of neighborhoods experiencing rapid gentrification has been approved by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
That represents a reversal or refinement, because six weeks ago, HUD roundly rejected a version of the proposed neighborhood preference policy. Their reasoning: The plan would "perpetuate segregation" and be in violation of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. But after City Attorney Dennis Herrera and many more local officials urged HUD to reconsider — Mayor Lee sent representatives to meet with national officials on the subject.
Then, yesterday, federal officials told San Francisco officials they would in fact give the OK for the policy to take effect, with a change, first as it pertains to the Willie B. Kennedy senior apartment complex and its 98 units. As that center begins to take applications, officials may legally give preference to neighborhood residents who live in low-income area undergoing displacement — just not only from the same area where the Senior Center is located, in the Western Addition, but also from other neighborhoods such as the Mission.
The SF senior housing complex is what Mayor Lee calls “a lifeline for many seniors in the Western Addition who were hoping to remain in the neighborhood,” according to the Chronicle.