Labor, Housing Advocates Rally for San Francisco Affordable Housing Bond

By Jacob Bourne

A rally in support of Proposition A was held at the 10th & Mission Family Housing atrium in San Francisco on September 7. A group of housing and Labor advocates, including from the San Francisco Labor Council and United Educators of San Francisco, gathered to back and learn more about the initiative that would supply $600 million in bond funding for the city’s affordable housing if passed by voters in November. President of the Board of Supervisors, Norman Yee called it, “One of the most important bond measures ever” and implored supporters to get the word out with an “army on the streets” knocking on doors, handing out literature and getting people registered to vote.

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Yee cited 10th & Mission Family Housing as, “The model for affordable housing in San Francisco.” The housing development has 136 affordable units for families as well as 44 units of permanently supportive housing for those who were formerly homeless. Prop A is geared to create such projects across multiple districts to help seniors, veterans, teachers, firefighters and other essential workers stay in the city, while housing those who are homeless and preventing future homelessness.

“We need this bond—we need Proposition A to pass, because we know that there is something in this $600 million bond for all San Franciscans,” said Mayor London Breed. “Whether you are a single mom raising two children and you just need an opportunity to have a place that you can afford to live so you can also pay for groceries, or you are sadly someone who is sleeping on our streets and you need wrap around supportive services, or you’re a teacher who wants to buy a home in San Francisco and you just need that down payment assistance —there is something for all San Franciscans.”

Prop A garnered support from SFBCTC earlier this summer, and though the projects under the measure won’t be covered by the citywide PLA, the building trades have been promised strong representation by the Mayor. Additionally, contractors will be required to use certified apprenticeship programs on projects. The bond funds are aimed at creating 2,800 units of housing over the next four years.

Prop A does not entail an increase in property taxes, and currently there’s no vocal opposition to the proposed legislation, however the measure will require a two-thirds majority to pass and hence the call for a strong voter turnout. Following the rally, supporters donning orange shirts and carrying “Yes on A” signs ventured out into San Francisco neighborhoods to champion the bond measure.

“Proposition A is so important for San Francisco,” said District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer. “We’ve been complaining about the lack of affordability. How do we keep seniors here? How do we keep working families here? This is how we do it.”

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