Mayor Breed and Board of Supervisors: Use Prop I Money for Rent Relief and Affordable Housing

Mayor London Breed, Board of Supervisors

The pandemic and economic recession have left thousands of San Francisco tenants unable to pay their rent, a burden disproportionately carried by black and brown renters. At the same time, corporate landlords have amassed billions of dollars in wealth that they plan to use to buy up more property during a recession.

In November 2020, voters approved Proposition I to tax the largest real estate transactions to fund emergency rent relief and affordable, social housing. The Board of Supervisors also unanimously passed a resolution dedicating the revenues from Prop I for these purposes. Mayor London Breed recently refused to commit to using Prop I funds for rent relief and social housing. This is clearly contrary to the will of both the voters and the Board of Supervisors, and it would leave struggling San Franciscans with mounting rental debts. We must make our voices heard and demand that these funds be used for their intended purpose: rent relief and affordable housing.

Petition by

To: Mayor London Breed, Board of Supervisors
From: [Your Name]

Mayor Breed: Use Prop I Money for Rent Relief and Affordable Housing

We are writing to demand that Mayor Breed listen to San Francisco voters and use revenue from Proposition I to fund emergency rent relief and permanently affordable housing.

Voters delivered a clear mandate with 58% of the vote in favor of Prop I, and last year the Board of Supervisors further described the clear intent of use of these funds, unanimously passing a resolution to allocate increased transfer tax revenue to rent relief and affordable housing. We were extremely disappointed that Mayor Breed, at the April 13, 2021 Board of Supervisors meeting, refused to commit to using Prop I revenue for the voter-intended purposes.

During this pandemic, thousands of San Franciscans have struggled to pay their rent and are facing mounting debt that they have little hope of being able to pay. The City estimates that unpaid rent due to the impacts of COVID-19 may be as high as $32.7 million per month. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is not sufficient to cover the accumulating debt completely. We know that the burden of this debt is carried disproportionately by renters of color: Black, Latinx, and Asian households are 4 to 5 times more likely to face COVID rent debt than white renters in this city.

Even before COVID, far too many San Franciscans faced impossibly high rents, housing insecurity, and the ongoing threat of displacement. Unchecked speculation and insufficient supply of truly affordable housing is at the root of this crisis. Prop I, a November 2020 ballot measure known as the Fair Recovery Act, proposed a solution: Increase taxes on the biggest real estate transactions, and use the revenue for immediate COVID-19 rent relief, as well as the creation of long term, permanently affordable social housing.

We hereby demand that, in the upcoming city budget, Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors follow through on their promise and the will of San Francisco voters and use Prop I revenue for rent relief and permanently affordable housing. Without this aid, our renter households of color will lose stable housing and recovery will be delayed.

San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition
San Francisco Democratic Party
Affordable Housing Alliance
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
Bill Sorro Housing Project (BiSHoP)
Causa Justa :: Just Cause
Central City SRO Collaborative
San Francisco Democratic Socialists of America
Dolores Street Community Services
Coalition on Homelessness
Tenants and Owners Development Corporation
Eviction Defense Collaborative
Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco
Jobs with Justice San Francisco
La Voz Latina
North Beach Tenants Committee
People Power Media
San Francisco Community Land Trust
San Francisco Tenants Union
SF Berniecrats
South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN)