SF Voters Take Stand Against Homelessness

SF voters took a stand against the housing crisis during  the recent election, by approving two key measures to bring much-needed relief to the growing housing crisis in the Bay Area. Rents in the Bay Area have skyrocketed in recent years, due to rapid growth in the technology industry, which created too much demand for limited supply. The higher incomes earned by the technology employees, plus the high demand for housing, often pushes out those with more marginal or lower incomes.

Proposition A is a $600 million bond package passing with a 69% vote. The city will build 2,800 affordable units, plus expand the availability of units targeted to low-income ($220 million), middle-income ($60 million), seniors ($150 million), and educators ($20 million).

Proposition E governs the use of public lands to construct affordable housing, and specifically targets housing for educators. It also expedites the approval process. Proposition E pass with 75% of the vote, and seeks to alleviate the shortage of housing available to teachers and to lower-income workers with salaries that fall far below their higher-paid tech neighbors.

SF Mayor London Breed, who successfully fought off six mayoral challengers to garner 68% of the vote, stated earlier this year,”We are in a housing crisis that is pushing out our low-and middle-income residents and we desperately need more affordable housing.”

“This bond will allow us to create more affordable homes for seniors, continue rebuilding our public housing throughout the city, begin construction on projects for low-income residents that are ready to be built today, and keep current tenants housed,” the SF Mayor said. “Building more housing requires a wide range of solutions, and this bond is a key part of that effort.”

With the nation’s 13th-largest population of homeless people, San Francisco is indicative of the many challenges facing the state of California, which has the biggest homeless population of any other state, with nearly 130,000 without homes at the end of 2018, according to federal data. San Jose joins a number of other California cities in the Top 20, coming in at #10.

Several tech giants in the Silicon Valley area have dedicated resources and are undertaking plans to help fight the housing crisis, which many argue is a direct result of the frenzied growth of these firms in recent years. Google, Adobe, and others are currently actively engaged in efforts to increase affordable housing in the area.

As recently reported, California has also recently passed legislation aimed at putting more units under rent control ordinances, in an effort to create more affordable housing.

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