October 6, 2014 Housing Action Coalition
Thanks to the 300 attendees and over 70 sponsors who celebrated the 2014 Housing Heroes Awards with us last week. A packed room representing the entire housing development community honored two outstanding individuals for their life-long dedication to building new homes and communities in San Francisco. The SF Housing Action Coalition is proud to honor John Stewart and Gordon Chin as its 2014 Housing Heroes.
In celebration of the SF Housing Action Coalition’s 15th birthday, the SFHAC’s Executive Director Tim Colen took the attendees on a trip down memory lane to its birth in 1999. Since then, the SFHAC has grown from a volunteer-based organization of 25 members to a full-time staff of three with 140 members.
Kate White, SFHAC’s first Executive Director in 2003 recalled, “We started as a naïve group of 6-8 of us at SPUR thinking maybe we can bridge the divide to make sure housing can be built in San Francisco at all levels for current and future residents.”
Since 1999, the SFHAC advocacy has been instrumental in the following:
– Drafting San Francisco’s first inclusionary housing ordinance with Sup. Mark Leno;
– Helping pass the landmark Market Octavia and Eastern Neighborhood Area Plans;
– Passing Parkmerced, Treasure Island and Hunters Point Shipyard Area Plans, bringing the City over 7,000 new homes at 30% affordability;
– Writing and helping pass two ordinances that promote student housing;
– Helping pass Prop C, Mayor Lee’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund;
– Helping pass micro-unit legislation as well as local CEQA forum.
Not being satisfied just with promoting good policy, the SF Housing Action Coalition has endorsed over 43,000 homes, 30 percent of which are below-market-rate or affordable. That’s something to celebrate!
Where is SFHAC going in the next five years? There are discussions underway on how to streamline the Planning Code, reform the off-site inclusionary policy and find more funding to support affordable housing through a 2015 housing bond. Additionally, we insist that San Francisco finally come into full compliance with the state density bonus law. Later this year, we intend to hire our first-ever Community Organizer. Finally, we’re encouraging the city to begin new area plans since they’re the best way to encourage new production.
Because of its amazing members, the SF Housing Action Coalition is on a roll – thanks for being there every step of the way! Big thanks to Crescent Heights, our Presenting Sponsor, and to over 70 business sponsors whose support extends far beyond this event. Our daily housing advocacy would simply not be possible without your confidence in our work. Thank you.
Our 2014 Heroes are:
– Lifetime Achievement Award: Gordon Chin, a community activist who began his career in the 1960s and was the first Executive Director of the Chinatown Community Development Center.
– Housing Hero: John Stewart, founder of the John Stewart Company and recognized affordable housing champion at the nation and local level.
These two combine 70-plus-year careers and have seen the highs and lows of affordable housing. They called on the audience to help find solutions to greater affordability in San Francisco for current and future residents.
Photo Credit: Russ Levi Photography | www.russlevi.com