San Francisco may be a national model for affordable housing, but it isn’t a policy that came naturally to the City by the Bay. Its successes, according to a new report, arose out of decades of community activism, court cases, and ballot initiatives.
At the city’s lowest point, during the 1960s, wide swaths of low cost housing fell victim to modernization by bulldozer, as older housing units were destroyed to make way for wider streets, office buildings, and commercial property. That displaced thousands of people, many of whom needed low-cost housing to continue to live and work in San Francisco.
The concept of housing both executive and workers began to emerge as residents organized, neighborhoods rallied, and activities filed lawsuit after lawsuit. Voters entered the game in 1986, when they passed a limit on office construction. Voters later approved a $100 million bond to pay for affordable housing, and in this last election they approved a $50 million housing trust.
Demonstrating how far the city came from the days when housing disappeared for the sake of progress, the City expanded by 2,800 residential units and AT&T Park was built, without losing any residential structures. Nearly 700 of the units added were dedicated to low-income housing.
Read the full story at the San Francisco Chronicle.