Affordable housing plans would be studied under board proposal

Proposition C would fund more than $1 billion into housing construction and programs for the next 30 years.

If approved by voters this November, San Francisco’s 30-year plan to fund affordable-housing development would undergo scrutiny every five years under a proposal headed toward approval by the Board of Supervisors.

Mayor Ed Lee’s Proposition C, the Housing Trust Fund, would change San Francisco’s affordable-housing requirements and sink more than $1 billion into housing construction and housing programs for the next three decades.

Given the magnitude of the policy change and investment, board President David Chiu has authored legislation that would require an assessment of the trust fund every five years.

“I wanted to make sure that The City was regularly evaluating the impact of these policies on affordable-housing development,” Chiu said.

The legislation was approved Monday by the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee and is expected to be approved next week by the full board.

The first of the five reports would be due by April 1, 2018. Both the Mayor’s Office of Housing, which would administer the fund, and the Planning Department would report on how the policies were affecting The City’s goal and recommend any improvements. Upon receiving the report, supervisors would call a hearing on the findings within three months.

Earlier this month, as part of a deal to help ensure Prop. C’s passage, the board exempted housing projects of nine units or fewer from affordable-housing requirements, which previously applied to projects with five or more units.

The City’s most common type of infill residential developments contain between five and nine units.

If approved by voters, Prop. C would invest $1.5 billion in low- and moderate-income housing construction and related programs during the next 30 years. To encourage more construction, The City’s existing affordable-housing requirements would be relaxed for most projects. Developments generally must keep 15 percent of the units affordable; that would decrease to 12 percent.

The measure would set aside millions for housing programs, including at least $15 million for a down-payment loan program to benefit moderate-income families, which for a four-person home is $80,000 to $120,000.

Beginning with $20 million next year, the fund would grow by $2.8 million annually until reaching $50.8 million.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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