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Mayor Breed drops, merges teacher housing plan

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Compromise with Board of Supervisors caps long fight over dueling proposals

London Breed making a speech on the steps of City Hall. Pax Ahimsa Gethen

On Wednesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said she’s agreed to a merger of her plan for developing affordable housing for teachers in San Francisco with a competing measure by the Board of Supervisors, carrying over certain elements of her proposal to end a longstanding impasse

According to a press release from the mayor’s office:

The initiative ordinance put forward by four members of the Board will move forward for the November election. The Board will legislatively adopt key elements from the Mayor’s proposal, including the allowance for 10 extra feet of height on 40 foot parcels and modifying the unit requirements of their measure to ensure that the Francis Scott Key educator housing project and other similar projects are able to benefit from the rezoning.

As part of this agreement, the Mayor will withdraw her ordinance and support the Supervisors’ initiative.

Breed and the city’s legislature have been at loggerheads over housing for teachers on several fronts all year.

Jeff Cretan, a spokesperson for Breed, told Curbed SF in June that both proposals “generally do the same thing—rezone public parcels, excluding parks, and lots larger than 10,000 square feet for affordable housing and teacher housing” but called the discrepancy about building heights “the main difference” between both measures before this week’s compromise.

The new version of the legislation is still being drafted, so it’s not clear yet what changes might be made beyond the extra one-story allowance. The two measures also differed on how developments for teacher housing might be priced compared to the Area Median Income.

On Wednesday, Breed made a joint statement with Supervisors Sandra Fewer, Aaron Peskin, Matt Haney, and Shamann Walton—the four co-sponsors of the teacher housing proposal—saying, in part, “We have too many people who can’t afford to live in this city and we need to build more affordable housing for everyone struggling with high housing costs.”

Breed and the board also were at odds earlier this year over her desire to change the city charter and remove certain procedural obstacles for new teacher housing. The supervisors tossed out her amendment on a vote earlier this month, anxious about the prospect of tinkering with the DNA of city law to that degree.

That idea still appears dead in the water, but if this other, final housing measure passes a full vote by the board it will appear on the November ballot.

[Correction: Initially this story confused Breed’s charter amendment with her separate teacher housing measure.]