Supervisor Dean Preston said the city needs to provide “immediate relief for struggling renters and small property owners.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Supervisor Dean Preston said the city needs to provide “immediate relief for struggling renters and small property owners.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Preston moves to use expected Prop. I revenue on rent relief, affordable housing

Supervisor Dean Preston introduced legislation Tuesday to allocate more than $11 million for rent relief and affordable housing from revenue expected to be generated by this November’s voter-approved tax hike on the sale of properties worth more than $10 million.

Under the proposal, The City would allocate $5.7 million into the so-called rent relief fund and $5.7 million into the housing stability fund from out of the general fund reserve.

Preston proposed the spending based upon the City Controller’s recent estimate that Proposition I would generate $11.4 million in revenue this fiscal year from the tax hike on the sale of multi-million dollar properties.

“If ever there was a time to provide immediate relief for struggling renters and small property owners, that time is now,” Preston said in a statement. “As we enter a new phase of shelter-in-place, San Franciscans need to know that help is on the way,and that’s what this funding proposal will provide.”

Preston is pressing forward with his proposal, as he intended to do when he placed the tax measure on the ballot with the support of the board. But it comes as The City faces a budget deficit of $115.9 million in the current fiscal year, the City Controller’s Office has estimated.

A budget analyst report said that “the Mayor has requested departments to prepare proposals to reduce spending in order to accommodate the projected decrease in General Fund revenues.”

“The Mayor’s plan to rebalance the FY 2020-21 budget is expected to be finalized in January,” the report said.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing would oversee the spending of the $11.5 million.

For rent relief, funding would be provided to property owners whose tenants have not been able to pay rent due to the impacts of COVID-19. Landlords could receive up to 65 percent of rent owed if the landlord voluntarily waives the debt obligation for the impacted tenants.

The money that goes into the housing stability fund would fund the creation or acquisition of affordable housing.

“These provide for both near-term and long-term anti-displacement and housing stability,” said Preston. “I believe it is imperative that we act immediately to provide the necessary resources to get these programs off the ground.”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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