San Francisco site rejected by Occupy could house workers

Mike Koozmin/The SF ExaminerA school site in the Mission offered to Occupy SF could be housing for cops and teachers.

Mike Koozmin/The SF ExaminerA school site in the Mission offered to Occupy SF could be housing for cops and teachers.

A shuttered school site in the Mission offered to Occupy SF demonstrators for their tent city didn’t pan out for the movement, but now Mayor Ed Lee thinks it might be better used as workforce housing for cops and teachers.

Facing police raids earlier this month at their downtown encampment in Justin Herman Plaza, Occupy protesters turned down the mayor’s offer for an alternative camp at 1950 Mission St., the former home of Phoenix High School. But now, city and school officials appear to be moving forward with other ideas for the site, which the school district lists as surplus property.

Christine Falvey, Lee’s spokeswoman, said the mayor feels the high cost of living in San Francisco prevents some essential municipal jobholders from living in The City they serve.

“Mayor Lee supports workforce housing in San Francisco because he believes that workers like police officers, firefighters and teachers can be an even greater asset when they live in the communities they are serving,” Falvey said in a statement.

Gentle Blythe, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Unified School District, said Board of Education members appear to have found consensus on pursuing a new building with affordable housing units and are currently seeking firms to take on the project.

Blythe said about 30 percent of the district’s teachers live outside The City.

“It is expensive to live here and teachers are certainly underpaid,” she said.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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