History

Over its three decades of leadership in San Francisco, CCHO has been at the forefront of local and regional affordable housing advocacy, organizing, coalition building, and policy reform work to increase affordable housing and tenants’ rights in San Francisco. Its member organizations have been responsible for over 20,000 new or preserved affordable housing units, with a current pipeline of over 1,500 units under construction or in various stages of planning and approval. CCHO members build over 90% of the affordable housing in San Francisco on an annual basis.

CCHO’s advocacy has reformed public policies and created the financing so necessary for nonprofit affordable housing to succeed. Many of these achievements have become national models emulated by other American cities. The impact of these three decades of accomplishments has been achieved through collective action and coalition-building, the core of CCHO’s work. Some of the highlights of CCHO’s work over the last three decades are:

  • In 2016, CCHO led the successful June Prop C campaign with 67% voter approval to increase San Francisco’s inclusionary housing policy to its highest level in history, and added a new “middle-income” component to the program. CCHO also crafted a measure to repurpose a $261 million Housing Preservation Bond for Acquisition/Rehab that passed overwhelmingly in November 2016.
  • In 2015, CCHO was central to winning the $310 million Affordable Housing Bond and the Surplus Lands Policy measures, with both Prop A and Prop K passing with an unprecedented 74% voter support.
  • In 2014, CCHO spearheaded completion of the Small Sites Acquisition/Rehab Program, launched with a $5 million allocation by the City in its first year, which will allow small rental properties at risk of speculation and tenant evictions to be purchased for permanently affordable housing.
  • In 2012, CCHO developed San Francisco’s Housing Trust Fund as a local permanent source of funding to replace funds lost through the dissolution of the state’s redevelopment agencies, and coordinated the field campaign to pass Prop C with an overwhelming 65% voter approval.
  • In 2011, CCHO played a core role in crafting the Bay Area proposal for the $5 million HUD “Sustainable Communities” Grant, and was actively involved in the steering committee that led its implementation process from 2012-2015.
  • In 2010, CCHO coordinated the New Deal for the City Community Congress, which brought together over 200 community activists, residents, workers, artists, and thinkers to create a progressive vision for the future of San Francisco.
  • CCHO coordinated the San Francisco campaign for Proposition C, the 2006 State housing bond, securing 73% voter approval in SF, the highest in the State.
  • CCHO organized the 2005 Housing Justice Summit where 83 housing, land use, tenant and homeless organizations reached a unique agreement on an Action Agenda to preserve and expand affordable housing and empower lower-income communities. Many of those measures have achieved adoption as City policy.
  • In 2002, CCHO played a central role in crafting the City’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, one of the first for a major city and still considered one of the strongest and most successful in the State of California.
  • In 1996, CCHO planned and coordinated the $100 million, Proposition A Affordable Housing Bond Campaign, the largest “general obligation bond issue” ever passed in the State for affordable housing.
  • In the 1990s, CCHO led the negotiations to secure 2,000 affordable housing units in the City’s Mission Bay development, one of the first and most successful “community benefit agreements” achieved in the nation.
  • In 1990, CCHO secured City approval mandating that 50% of all San Francisco Redevelopment Agency tax increment funding be allocated to affordable housing, by far the largest such set aside in the State of California.
  • In 1986, CCHO comprehensively restructured City land use and development law with the passage of Proposition M, which linked downtown office development to infrastructure and public amenities, the first such measure in any major American city.
  • In 1985, CCHO planned and implemented the first “Office/Housing Linkage” ordinance in the nation, which has generated over $45 million.
  • In the 1970s, in the infancy of the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), CCHO succeeded in institutionalizing funding for housing development corporations in San Francisco, the first major American city to have such a program.