The results of November 3rd’s election sent a loud and clear message that San Franciscans want both more housing and more funding for permanently affordable housing. Voters overwhelmingly aligned with the SF Housing Action Coalition’s voter guide and passed Propositions A, D and K and soundly defeated Proposition I. What do these results mean for the future of San Francisco and the potential for other land use ballot measures? Here’s our analysis:
Prop A – Affordable Housing Bond
Yes – 73.91% | No – 26.09%
Passing the $310 million bond and surpassing the two-thirds threshold required all parties across the spectrum to come together. This marks the largest bond passed in the City’s history and the first since 1996, after failed attempts in 2002 and 2004. The City can now use this money to finance new affordable housing, rehabilitate existing public housing, support down payment assistance programs and contribute $50 million to the Mission Action Plan. However, this one bond by itself is not enough to address the needs of current or future residents. SFHAC will continue to work with other stakeholders to develop new funding sources for permanently affordable housing.
Prop D – Mission Rock Development
Yes – 73.98% | No – 26.02%
This great mixed-use development can now move forward and transform a derelict parking lot into a vibrant new neighborhood with 1,500 homes, 40 percent of which will be affordable to low and middle-income residents. This project also sets a very high bar for future housing in the eyes of many, who now believe all new developments should include 40 percent on-site affordable housing, without understanding all the unique circumstances that helped this project achieve its impressive affordability plan.
Prop F – Short-Term Residential Rentals
Yes – 44.24% | No – 55.76%
The SF Housing Action Coalition did not take a position on this measure. We believe this issue should be addressed legislatively and not at the ballot. We take seriously the allegations that short-term rentals could reduce the supply of housing needed for residents. However, we believe more constructive solutions could be developed at City Hall, especially considering the results of the District 3 race.
Prop I – Suspension of Market-Rate Housing in the Mission District
Yes – 42.34% | No – 57.66%
Most expected this outcome to be very close, so it was surprising when it lost by 15 percent of the vote. In fact, only three neighborhoods voted in favor of the moratorium: the Mission, North Bernal Heights and Civic Center/Downtown. While this shows that residents believe San Francisco needs more housing, it’s likely the measure’s proponents will return in 2016 with a similar measure that hampers the production of market-rate housing. The day after the election, Prop I supporters gathered at City Hall announcing they will continue to fight proposed market-rate projects in the Mission, demand that the City fund the Mission Action Plan 2020 and return next June or November with another ballot measure.
The SF Housing Action Coalition would like to have many voices at the table to pass a comprehensive and realistic Mission Action Plan 2020. The housing troubles in the Mission – and truthfully Bayview/Hunters Point, too – have not gone away because of the election. Let’s come to the table to create a plan with clear goals and objectives.
Prop K – Surplus Public Lands
Yes – 73.92% | No – 26.08%
The passage of this ordinance, sponsored by Supervisor Jane Kim, will hopefully encourage better use of City-owned land for 100-percent-affordable projects and market-rate projects with 33 percent on-site affordable housing. It will also create a clearer process for identifying and reporting which of these sites are designated as surplus.
Forty percent of registered voters spoke loudly and clearly last week. But, we can’t stop here, and SFHAC won’t stop here! We must pursue legislative solutions that spur more housing production of all types to accommodate our growing population while protecting existing residents with quality affordable housing.