July 21, 2016 Corey Smith

Mayor Lee Vetoes Supervisors’ Resolution Against By-Right Housing

After hearing from housing advocacy organizations, residents and employees of San Francisco, Mayor Lee vetoed the Supervisors’ resolution again by-right housing. Last week, in a 6-5 vote, the Supervisors encouraged the San Francisco legislative delegation in Sacramento to have Governor Brown include a series of amendments to his by-right legislation, or else oppose the Governor’s plan. While there have been a number of amendments proposed that we believe strengthen Gov. Brown’s legislation, the amendments recommended by the Supervisors would have ultimately watered down Brown’s legislation to the point where it becomes nearly meaningless.

In an op-ed in this morning’s Examiner, SFHAC Executive Director Tim Colen encouraged the Mayor to exercise his veto power. On top of that, we heard from over 200 housing advocates who sent emails to the Mayor encouraging him to do the same. In the end, your voices were heard and the Mayor listened.

Brown’s by-right housing legislation (also called ‘as-of-right’) was introduced earlier this year and is seen as one of the answers for our housing shortage. If passed, all local zoning and design guidelines will have to be met in order for housing to be developed. What it cuts out is years of subjective, discretionary review, which often causes delays and drives up the cost of building housing. Gov. Brown believes that local jurisdictions have shown little desire to build enough housing to meet the demand and ultimately, losing some local power in exchange for a more affordable state is worth the tradeoff. Gov. Brown, along with the state and federal government, have also made it clear that we lack the public funds available to subsidize the amount of affordable housing we need, so it’s time for another strategy.

The SFHAC hopes the City will continue to work with the Governor’s office to create the best plan for the City and state.

Read the Mayor’s Letter

Image: Julie Pimentel


Corey Smith

Corey Smith is HAC's Executive Director and can be reached at corey@housingactioncoalition.org.

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