SF commission may name affordable housing initiative after Mayor Lee

San Francisco proposed last week renaming Portsmouth Square or Kearny Street after the late Mayor Ed Lee, and following in the same spirit a city commission may name an affordable housing initiative after him.

Miguel Bustos, vice chair of the Commission on the Community Investment and Infrastructure, the successor body to the defunct Redevelopment Agency, said Tuesday he would like to name OCII’s affordable housing initiative after Lee, who died Dec. 12, 2017 after suffering a heart attack.

He has discussed doing so with Nadia Sesay, OCII’s executive director.

“I have shared with Nadia [Sesay] that maybe we should at some point in [the] near future look at naming our affordable housing initiative after Mayor Lee because affordable housing was such a big deal for him,” Bustos said. “And we contribute to a large part of that.”

Mara Rosales, an OCII commissioner, supported the idea. “I wholly agree certainly,” Rosales said. “I am very saddened by his passing. The last conversation I had with him one-on-one was in July over lunch. Housing, housing housing was 90 percent of the conversation. So I think it is very appropriate.”

OCII formed as a result of the Redevelopment Agency’s dissolution and oversees the tens of thousands of market-rate and affordable housing units under construction in the Transbay, Mission Bay, Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point neighborhoods.

As San Francisco experienced soaring rents and rising evictions as a result of a tech boom, Lee promised to build 30,000 new homes, of which 10,000 would be affordable.

“OCII’s housing obligations are a key part of the Mayor’s plan to create 30,000 housing units by 2020, with one-third, or 10,000, of those units as permanently affordable,” reads an OCII Dec. 5, 2017 memo from Sesay. “In fact, OCII’s contribution to achieving that goal is approximately 3,000 units, or just under one-third of the 10,000 affordable unit goal.”

Joshua Sabatini
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Joshua Sabatini

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