San Francisco, like many cities, is in a challenging place economically with over 200,000 workers on unemployment, a $1.5 billion deficit due to loss revenue, and exponentially higher needs for city services such as rental assistance, health care, child care and other city essential activities. San Francisco has a very unique budget process, where the legislative branch receives the budget from the much more powerful executive branch and has the opportunity to cut things out of the Mayor’s budget in order to fund other things they deem as higher priorities.
San Francisco is at a precipice – deep into a housing crisis that exists within great wealth and economic fuel. Residents more than ever are motivated to see homelessness addressed as property values and rents skyrocket. Housing-insecure renters see themselves in the faces of those on the streets and respond at times with compassion and other times fear-based hostility. Homeowners have spent small fortunes to acquire property. Yet homelessness is more visible than ever with the proliferation of tents throughout the city,
Mayor Lee recently cut funding for two new Board-funded housing subsidies, affecting 175 households across the city. The funding would have provided critical rental assistance for seniors, families, and people with disabilities.
These funds were backed by the Board of Supervisors and totaled $2.5 million—125 subsidies worth $1.5 million for seniors and the disabled, and another 50 subsidies worth $1 million for families with children.
“We have to invest the resources to keep people in San Francisco,” says Brian Basinger,