PRO & CONS – PROPOSITION K – NOVEMBER 3, 2015

PROPOSITION K – HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ON SURPLUS PUBLIC LANDS

Ordinance

Placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors Members Kim, Avalos, Cohen, Wiener, and Mar

Requires a simple majority vote for passage

 

THE QUESTION:

Should the City to include building affordable housing for a range of households from those who are homeless or those with very low income to those with incomes up to 120% of the area median income; and, for projects of more than 200 units, make some housing available for households earning up to 150% or more of the area median income on surplus property that it owns?

BACKGROUND:

The City’s existing policy regulating use of its surplus property does not include a requirement to build affordable housing. If the property is not suitable for housing, it can be sold and the proceeds are used to build affordable housing elsewhere in the City.

Under the City’s existing policy, affordable housing means housing that is affordable to households who earn up to 60% of the area median income. Every year, City departments are required to identify surplus property. The City transfers that surplus property to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, which then determines if the property is suitable for affordable housing.

 

If the property is suitable, the City solicits applications from nonprofit organizations serving the homeless to build affordable housing on the property. City property controlled by the Recreation and Parks Commission, the Port, the Airport, the Public Utilities Commission, and the Municipal Transportation Agency are exempt from the requirement

THE PROPOSAL:

 

Passage of this proposition would expand the allowable uses of surplus property to include building affordable housing for a range of households from those with very low incomes (homeless to those earning less than 20% of the area median income) to those with incomes up to 120% of the area median income.

In surplus property development proposals with 200 or more units, allow mixed-income projects that include affordable housing for households earning up to 120% of the area median income, households earning up to 150% of the area median income and housing with no income limitations.

Expand the annual process for identifying surplus property with specific reporting dates, public hearings and oversight by the Board of Supervisors; prohibit the City, without prior approval of the Board of Supervisors, from taking any actions to sell surplus property for 120 days if the Board of Supervisors is considering developing the property for affordable housing.

Require that at least 33% of the total housing units developed on surplus property sold by the City be affordable, with at least 15% of rental units affordable to people earning up to 55% of the area median income and 18% affordable to people earning up to 120% of the area median income.

Maintain exemptions for City property controlled by the Recreation and Parks Commission, the Port, the Airport, the Public Utilities Commission, and the Municipal Transportation Agency; make it City policy to ask all other local agencies, such as school districts, notify the City before selling property in San Francisco and give the City the opportunity to buy it for affordable housing development.

Proposition K would allow the Board of Supervisors to waive the requirements of this law for other public purposes, such as creating facilities for health care, child care, education, open space, public safety, transit and infrastructure.

 

A “YES” Vote Means: You authorize the City to build affordable housing on surplus public lands for a range of households from homeless to residents with incomes up to 120% of the area median income; and, for projects of more than 200 units, make some housing available for households earning up to 150% or more of the area median income.

A “NO” Vote Means: you do not authorize the City to build affordable housing on surplus public lands for a range of households from homeless to residents with incomes up to 120% of the area median income; and, for projects of more than 200 units, make some housing available for households earning up to 150% or more of the area median income.

 

ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR PROP K:

It allows the City to use excess city land to build housing for a broad range of residents, from homeless to middle income families. For sites where housing doesn’t exist, it ensures the City uses public land for public purposes like open space, childcare, transit and infrastructure.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST PROP K:

It establishes a policy that the priority use of surplus City-owned property would be to provide housing, shelter, and other services for the homeless.

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