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Mayor Breed pitches $300 million housing bond

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Voters would have to approve measure come 2020

Newly Sworn In San Francisco Mayor London Breed Attends Meeting On Emergency Preparedness Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On Monday, Mayor London Breed announced that she’s pushing for a $300 million city bond to pay for affordable housing development, which voters would have to approve on the 2020 ballot.

[Correction: The bond would appear on the ballot this November.]

In a statement released Monday, Breed said, “We need to build more housing in San Francisco, especially badly needed affordable housing to help keep our communities stable” and called her bond proposal “a key part of this strategy.”

Voters are already facing a decision about a proposed $600 million bond for earthquake safety upgrades during 2019’s off-year elections, during which Breed will also once again be running for mayor as she approaches the end of what would have been late Mayor Ed Lee’s final term.

Breed tried to tie the two bond measures together on Monday, calling them “both key priorities.”

The San Francisco mayor moved to add the bonds to the city’s 10-year Capital Plan, a budgeting document published every two years “that lays out infrastructure investments over the next decade.”

According to City Administrator Naomi Kelly’s introduction the 2018-2027 version of the budge doc, the city is committing a record-high volume of resources to construction, development, and repair, but still needs extra juice:

The Plan recommends a record level of $35 billion in investments over the next decade that will improve San Francisco’s resilience through critical seismic repairs and strengthening; transportation and utility system improvements. [...]

Even with this record level of investment, the Proposed Plan defers $4.6 billion in identified capital needs for General Fund departments and does not fully fund annual state of good repair needs for those departments until 2032.

The early draft of the 2020 plan increases overall spending by six percent to more than $37 billion.

On top of the earthquake bond and Breed’s new affordable housing proposal, the draft plan includes a $255 million parks bond planned for 2020 approval, and then proposed bonds for transit, public health, and “waterfront safety” through 2028.

The current plan is for voters to consider the housing bond in March of next year, although that may change.

Photo by Muddymari