Surplus lands ordinance expands

The City has another tool in its toolkit to secure surplus lands for the development of below-market-rate housing following Tuesday’s election.

Proposition K passed with 73 percent of the vote. The measure strengthens The City’s surplus property ordinance, which has aimed to produce housing for the formerly homeless since 2002.

Supervisor Jane Kim, who endorsed the proposition, said the previous ordinance was unsuccessful, except for two developments it produced for the formerly homeless, because city departments and agencies were failing to report surplus land to The City.

Now, the ordinance has been expanded by requiring city agencies and departments to report all of the land it owns one-fourth acre or larger. That way, the city administrator can determine which land is surplus or not, instead of the agency or department making that decision.

A Board of Supervisors hearing will be held every April 15 to review the list of surplus lands. On June 1, the list will be evaluated by the Mayor’s Office of Housing.

When the Mayor’s Office of Housing decides to purchase land, it will pay the city department or agency the value of the development for the land.

Under Prop. K, people of a wider income bracket will now have access to the housing once built, including individuals who make less than $84,550 per year.

If the housing projects reach 200 units, market-rate units can also be built on city surplus land so long as at least one-third of the units are below-market-rate.

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