Voters approving Prop. I transfer tax hike for affordable housing

San Francisco voters backed Proposition I to bring in an average of $196 million annually for rent relief affordable housing,...

San Francisco voters backed Proposition I to bring in an average of $196 million annually for rent relief affordable housing, election night results indicate.

The measure, which received 187,900 votes (nearly 58 percent of the vote) as of midnight returns, was brought forward by Supervisor Dean Preston. Opposed heavily by real estate interests, it would raise the transfer tax on properties worth $10 million or more, which the controller estimated would bring in anywhere from $13 million to $346 million annually. The ongoing recession spurred by the pandemic makes the exact figure uncertain, but it could average $196 million annually.

Funds from Prop. I would go into general city coffers, but supervisors last week approved a COVID-19 Rent Resolution and Relief Fund to financially assist small landlords who waive back rent for tenants impacted by coronavirus. A recent city report found that unpaid rent in San Francisco between April and September could be worth as much as $32.7 million a month.

The new revenue sources would come at a time when San Francisco’s funding for affordable housing is expected to plummet to an average of $200 million annually without further investment. In order to fulfill affordable housing needs, The City needs an annual average of $517 million annually.

Half of Prop. I revenue would go toward the newly-established Housing Stability Fund related to Proposition K, which allows San Francisco to acquire, build or rehabilitate subsidized affordable housing.

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