The City will allocate $20 million of a newly-increased $600 million housing bond to house teachers in the San Francisco Unified School District and at City College of San Francisco. (Mike Koozmin/2015 S.F. Examiner)

Agreement reached over November’s $600 million affordable housing bond

An agreement was reached Thursday on a $600 million affordable housing bond slated for the November ballot, which includes $20 million to house teachers.

Mayor London Breed and Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee initially planned a $500 affordable housing bond to produce or preserve about 2,400 housing units. But, they later announced the ability to increase the bond by $100 million without raising property taxes beyond the current level.

The additional funding led to two weeks of debate over the potential use of the funds.

But on Thursday, the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee adopted the affordable housing bond agreement.

With the additional $100 million in funds, $20 million will go into area of funding not in the initial $500 million bond, called “Educator Housing.”

Kate Hartley, director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing, said the $20 million would fund new construction for both San Francisco Unified School District and City College of San Francisco teachers who earn between 30 percent and 140 percent of the area median income.

Hartley said the educator funding must be spent within four years or the money would go to other purposes. “We’re very intent on getting this money out the door and making sure that we create new housing as soon as we can,” Hartley said.

The initial $500 million bond allocated $90 million toward senior housing. Under the new agreement, that increases by $60 million for a total of $150 million.

There was an increase of $10 million for low-income housing, to bring the total to $220 million. Of the increase, $5 million will go toward cooperative living in supportive housing for those who are mentally ill and substance users, a move which was advocated for by Supervisor Hillary Ronen.

“This is a type of housing that works and helps stabilize people for a long time,” Ronen said.

The total funding for both low-income and senior housing each includes $15 million that would be prioritized for “site acquisition and pre-development of new housing projects either in neighborhoods with little or no affordable housing or in neighborhoods with low production of affordable housing and high number of units removed from protected status.”

The remaining $10 million increase goes to middle-income housing, for a total of $30 million, which includes loan assistance for homebuyers.

The bond also includes $150 million for public housing and $30 million toward purchasing apartment buildings to prevent displacement, amounts that were unchanged from the initial $500 million propsal.

“The reality is that this bond alone will not solve our housing crisis — everybody knows that,” Yee said. “But we hope it will move the needle somewhat in the right direction.”

The budget committee is expected to vote Friday to send the bond to the full board for a vote to place it on the ballot.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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