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London Breed’s State of the City address: New affordable and teacher housing

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“If affordable housing is proposed within zoning, then build it. Now.”

Mayor London Breed delivering the State of the City address in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Photo by AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Delivering her first State of the City address as mayor today, London Breed announced, among other things, plans for a charter amendment to make affordable and teacher housing as-of-right in San Francisco.

The charter amendment, proposed for the November 2019 election, would allow “100 percent affordable and teacher housing proposals that comply with existing zoning laws” to sidestep time-consuming, costly, and ultimately ruinous bureaucratic and appeals processes.

“We have to break the barriers to building housing so our dollars go farther and we get housing built faster,” said Mayor Breed during her address. “No more bureaucracy. No more costly appeals. No more ‘not in my neighborhood.’ It is simple: affordable housing as-of-right because housing affordability is a right.”

This is a bold plan—especially considering that the “affordable housing” tag is a loose one with no strict definition.

Curbed SF asked Breed how she defines “affordable housing.” We will update as soon as the Mayor’s Office responds.

In addition to helping streamline new housing for those who aren’t within the city moneyed set, Breed said she will open 4,000 new places for homeless people to sleep, which would include new shelters, housing units (e.g., navigation centers), and housing subsidies.

This is a major increase to her current plan of opening 1,000 shelter beds.

Mayor Breed delivered her address today at the new National LGBTQ Center for the Arts, the Art Deco building formerly known as the Baha’i Center, purchased in December by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.