Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner File photoThe Huntersview Public Housing Project

Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner File photoThe Huntersview Public Housing Project

San Francisco Housing Authority set to receive break on old debt

Unpaid city bills from the Housing Authority dating to the early 1990s are set to be written off this week.

The federally funded, locally overseen Housing Authority owns 404 buildings throughout San Francisco but does not pay city property taxes.

Instead, the public housing provider is supposed to pay The City 10 percent of what it collects in rent from its tenants, minus utility costs. But that’s something it hasn’t done since the 1980s.

Historically, The City has waived these fees, but there are some $12 million in unpaid — and not waived — fees dating to the 1990s, according to records.

During Willie Brown’s time as mayor from 1996 to 2004, the Housing Authority asked The City to waive fees through 1997, but no action was taken.

Following that, neither The City nor the Housing Authority made a move on the fees one way or the other.

At the Housing Authority’s request, the Board of Supervisors is set to waive the owed fees at its meeting Tuesday.

Housing authorities throughout the country are slow to make these payments. Chicago’s agency, for example, made its first payment in 50 years in 2012.

The inability to collect rent from its tenants has been an ongoing issue at the Housing Authority, which has had a tumultuous few years.

After the public housing provider landed on the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s list of the worst housing authorities in the country, Mayor Ed Lee cleaned house. The board of commissioners was replaced by city employees and longtime agency employee Barbara Smith took over for Director Henry Alvarez.

About 37.5 percent of the Housing Authority’s 5,007 tenants are delinquent on their rent at any one time, an audit of the agency found. That amounts to annual losses in excess of $2.5 million.Bay Area NewsEd LeeGovernment & PoliticsPoliticspublic housingSan Francisco Housing Authority

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A cyclist heads past an artistic sign onto Page Street, a Slow Street, at Stanyan Street near Golden Gate Park on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Push to make street closures permanent meets with resistance

Hastily thrown together during the pandemic, Slow Streets program now struggles to build support

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Three people killed in SF shootings in less than 24 hours

San Francisco police were scrambling Saturday to respond to a series of… Continue reading

Muni operator Angel Carvajal drives the popular boat tram following a news conference celebrating the return of the historic F-line and subway service on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Mayor, transit officials celebrate return of Muni service

Mayor London Breed and city transit officials gathered Friday to welcome the… Continue reading

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Most Read