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Layoffs approach for San Francisco Revelopment Agency workers

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More than 100 layoffs are in store for the now-defunct San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.
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Layoffs are in store for 101 employees of The City’s now-defunct Redevelopment Agency, although some will likely find new positions in San Francisco government.

A state Supreme Court decision in late December appears to be the final nail in the coffin for the state’s nearly 400 redevelopment agencies — the boards in charge of revamping blighted areas and funding projects by leveraging tax revenue.

The court upheld a bill that granted the wish of Gov. Jerry Brown to eliminate the agencies throughout California on grounds that many of them were bloated, ineffective and misused by local governments. The judges also struck down a companion bill that would have allowed certain redevelopment bodies to survive if cities and counties agreed to “opt in” and pay more towards state services.

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Mayor Ed Lee has instead appointed an oversight board to shepherd projects already under way, as the state bill requires. To make up for the loss of affordable housing opportunities through the agency, Lee also has been pushing a permanent housing trust fund — a matter that will be decided by voters on the November ballot.

San Francisco’s Redevelopment Agency officially dissolves Wednesday, but employees will say on for a “transition period” until March 31, according to Tiffany Bohee, the agency’s executive director. After that, the need for employees will be determined on a case-by-case basis, Bohee said.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing is taking on the agency’s affordable housing assets, which could create a need for former Redevelopment staff, Bohee said. The oversight board — charged with monitoring financial aspects of the already approved projects — could also call for the retention of staff, but how much staff remains a question, Bohee said.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com



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