San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday to vote June 2 on whether to adopt a 45-day moratorium on the construction of market-rate housing in the Mission.
Meanwhile, a tenant rights attorney Tuesday submitted a proposed November ballot measure that would enact an 18-month moratorium in that neighborhood. Rocked by evictions, soaring rents and a rise in cost-of-living, the Mission neighborhood is undergoing rapid change.
A diverse group of community leaders are supporting a moratorium to give them time to craft an aggressive housing plan to preserve what’s left of the historic low-income working class Latino neighborhood.
Supervisor David Campos introduced the moratorium measure May 5, igniting a heated debate over its merits.
With no debate, the full board on Tuesday approved Campos’ request to hold a 3 p.m. June 2 full board hearing on the proposal — a rare legislative maneuver bypassing the board’s committees. As a result, the entire board will listen to comments from the public on the proposal.
The proposed ballot measure was submitted to the Department of Elections by tenant rights attorney J. Scott Weaver. He’s part of the Plaza 16 Coalition, a group formed to block the 350 unit development at 16th and Mission street. Weaver’s also participated in the community-led moratorium effort.
Weaver said he decided to submit the measure following a Monday meeting attended by community members involved in the effort. “I did this in order to keep an initiative option open,” Weaver said. “I ran it by people and they said, ‘Sure, go ahead. What do you have to lose?’”
There had been talk about extending the moratorium to other neighborhoods because “people felt that other neighborhoods are getting clobbered too” but he decided against it, suggesting it would have taken more time to bring other areas into the fold.
“It’s my reading of a general consensus,” he said of the measure. Staunch moratorium opponent Supervisor Scott Wiener said he was more than happy to support having “this important policy discussion with the entire board.” Wiener reiterated his position that while he understands supporters’ frustration with the “unsustainable housing situation” the moratorium “won’t improve that problem and will likely make it worse.”
But hundreds of protesters from the Mission stormed City Hall on May 8 in support of Campos’ moratorium proposal, arguing it’s exactly what they need to “save the Mission.”
“We look forward to making our case,” Campos said.
Campos’ proposed 45-day moratorium would require nine of the 11 possible votes to pass. A subsequent vote would be needed to extend it another 10 months.
Meanwhile, for the November initiative to qualify for the ballot 9,711 voter signatures are required by July 6. It would enact an 18-month moratorium on market rate housing and allow the Board of Supervisors to vote to extend the moratorium for an additional 12 months.
The ballot measure would also require The City to develop in collaboration with community organizations a “Neighborhood Stabilization Plan” by Jan. 31, 2017.
The plan would have to ensure that at least 33 percent of all new housing in the Mission built is offered at below market rates for low and moderate incomes and at least 50 percent for low, moderate and middle income housing and “ensure that housing units will be available to Mission District residents.”