San Francisco plans for first uses of 2015 housing bond

San Francisco is about to put to work the funds of a $310 million housing bond that voters approved nearly a year ago.

What that means is more housing for San Francisco.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing has identified uses for $77 million of the bond for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2017, and plans to issue the bonds in October, pending approval of the plan by the Board of Supervisors next week. The bond was approved by voters in November 2015.

To view a more detailed housing bond spending plan click here.

The largest portion will go toward two public housing sites, with about $20 million for Potrero and $20 million for Sunnydale.

Construction on Potrero would begin this year and Sunnydale work would begin next year after applying for low-income tax credits in March, Kate Hartley, deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing, explained during the board’s Budget and Finance Committee hearing Wednesday.

Of the remaining funds, $24 million will go toward low-income housing, $6 million will go toward housing in the Mission neighborhood specifically and $3.9 million would go toward middle-income housing.

Middle income housing includes $2.9 million for the down payment assistance loan program. Under the down payment loan program, households earning up to 175 percent of area median income could receive loans of up to $375,000.

There is also $1 million for the Teacher Next Door program, which provides loans to educators and other employees of the San Francisco Unified School District. Hartley noted that the Mayor’s Office of Housing is working with the school district to identify surplus property in the school district land portfolio that could be used to build teacher rental housing.

As for funding low-income housing construction, Hartley explained that for the housing bond, The City will give loans to developers who “then go out and leverage those funds to get additional state and federal funding.” She added, “The construction work is actually procured by the developers using our loans and pursuant to the city’s procurement rules we follow.”

In April, the Mayor’s Office of Housing issued a request for proposals for low-income housing development, which closed July 11. The office will announce the selected development teams “shortly,” Hartley said.

“We had more responses than we have money to fund at this time, unfortunately,” she said. “But all of the responses we got were great, and the proposed uses were spread all across the city for seniors, homeless households, low income households. They included great community benefits.”

Proposals are located in the Mission, Forest Hills, Western Addition, Marina, Tenderloin, and the Excelsior neighborhoods.

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