SF Voters Tackle Housing Crisis

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The recent election provided SF voters with an opportunity to vote on two key measures designed to bring much-needed relief to the growing housing crisis in the Bay Area. Rents in the Bay Area have been under pressure caused by rapid growth in the technology industry, creating too much demand for limited supply. Coupled with the higher incomes offered by the technology employees, the high demand for housing often pushes out those with more marginal or lower incomes.

One of the initiatives to pass was a $600 million bond package, dubbed Proposition A. It passed with a 69% vote. The funds will help the city build 2,800 affordable units, plus provide funding for units targeted to low-income ($220 million), middle-income ($60 million), seniors ($150 million), and educators ($20 million).

In addition, Proposition E allows affordable and educator housing to be build on public lands. It also expedites the approval process. Passing with nearly 75% of the vote, Proposition E is designed to alleviate the shortage of housing available to teachers and to lower-income workers with salaries that fall far below their higher-paid tech neighbors.

London Breed, who successfully won 68% percent of the vote while fending off six challengers, said in a statement earlier this year,”We are in a housing crisis that is pushing out our low-and middle-income residents and we desperately need more affordable housing.”

“This bond will allow us to create more affordable homes for seniors, continue rebuilding our public housing throughout the city, begin construction on projects for low-income residents that are ready to be built today, and keep current tenants housed,” Breed said. “Building more housing requires a wide range of solutions, and this bond is a key part of that effort.”

With the nation’s 13th-largest population of homeless people, San Francisco is indicative of the many challenges facing the state of California, which has the biggest homeless population of any other state, with nearly 130,000 without homes at the end of 2018, according to federal data. San Jose joins a number of other California cities in the Top 20, coming in at #10.

Several tech giants in the Silicon Valley area have dedicated resources and are undertaking plans to help fight the housing crisis, which many argue is a direct result of the frenzied growth of these firms in recent years. Google, Adobe, and others are currently actively engaged in efforts to increase affordable housing in the area.

As recently reported, California has also recently passed legislation aimed at putting more units under rent control ordinances, in an effort to create more affordable housing.

Keystone Commercial Brokerage serves the needs of commercial real estate investors in the Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, specializing in commercial property, multi-unit residential, office space, and multi-use property. Paul Phangureh has over 16 years of experience in buying and selling in the Santa Clara and San Mateo County areas. Contact Paul at 650-924-2544, or email at [email protected]

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