San Francisco city leaders announced they reached an agreement Tuesday night on how to spend the city’s $13 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year that begins Thursday.
Since Mayor London Breed first introduced her proposed budget plan earlier this month, the city’s Board of Supervisors has been holding hearings and agreeing on adjustments to the proposal.
Breed’s initial proposal included new investments in the city’s continued COVID-19 response, the city’s economic recovery, public safety, mental health care, housing, and efforts to prevent homelessness and transition people into housing, among other initiatives.
According to Breed’s office, the newly agreed upon budget maintains all of her initial investments and also adds more funding for small businesses, housing stabilization, and keeping streets clean.
“I’m proud that we’ve reached an agreement on a budget that will tackle the challenges confronting this city — to make historic investments in homelessness and mental health, to support our most vulnerable, to keep people safe, and to prioritize our economic recovery with a focus on lifting up all San Franciscans,” Breed said in a statement. “I’m proud that we were able to work with the Board of Supervisors to put forward a budget that will benefit our city and our residents as we emerge from this pandemic.”
“This past year has been incredibly hard for our residents, small businesses and workers. This budget agreement will prioritize their recovery, safety, health, and wellbeing and put our city on a path to come back even better,” said Supervisor Matt Haney, chair of the board’s Budget Committee.
According to Supervisor Dean Preston, toward the end of Tuesday’s budget negotiations, supervisors also agreed on a “groundbreaking” $48 million package to support tenants and prevent displacement. The package provides $32 million to help expand the city’s rent relief program and $16 million going toward investments in the citywide tenant right to counsel program.
The added $32 million to the local rent relief program will help an additional 3,500 struggling tenants help pay back rent owed, on top of the already 8,500 tenants the program was previously estimated to reach.
The extra investments answer Preston’s call last week for the board to use funds from Proposition I for rent relief, money he said was urgently needed to help renters facing eviction. Prop I is a tax measure passed by voters in November 2020 for rent relief, and according to Preston, has generated over $50 million since taking effect back in January.
“We got a brief reprieve, but we are three months from another eviction cliff,” Preston said, referring to the newly extended statewide eviction moratorium. “In this budget we took the most concrete steps in our power to prevent an avalanche of evictions.”