Tuesday’s Two Wins for Affordable Housing

9 06 2016

Election Prop C 2016 SOV4 HighJune 7 brought two big wins for housing affordability in San Francisco, one through the ballot and one through the Board of Supervisors:


  • Proposition C, the Inclusionary Housing Measure, won handily at the ballot with 67% of the vote and with support spread widely across the city (see map of election results above, or a higher-resolution version here). Since its proposal by Supervisors Peskin and Kim, CCHO and a wide coalition of supporters have worked hard on the measure, and this is a big victory for affordable housing and significant step forward in the City’s inclusionary housing policy.  Inclusionary housing policies require the market to provide affordable units NOW.  Because of Prop C, private developers will now be required to provide significantly increased affordable housing and provide housing for both low-income and middle-income San Franciscans, helping house a wider swath of San Franciscans without pitting the housing needs of these different groups against one another.  With the passing of this measure, voters have set a new, fairer bar for market-rate development’s contribution to affordable housing and have once again proved that San Francisco’s leading the way in innovative solutions to the housing crisis.
  • The Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a Short-Term Rentals Ordinance requiring Airbnb and other hosting platforms ensure their listings are properly registered (aka, in compliance with existing law passed in February of last year – yes, just following the law, that’s all it is!). Under this legislation, platforms will face fines for advertising hosts who have yet to comply with the registration law – and currently that’s about 5,500 of the city’s estimated 7,000 hosts.  Any fines collected under this new ordinance will go towards affordable housing. CCHO, as part of the broader ShareBetterSF coalition, has continued to push for such regulation of improperly-rented short-term rentals, which currently contribute to the housing crisis by taking existing rent-controlled and affordable housing off the market.  After the defeat of last year’s Proposition F by Airbnb and its $8 million, this is a huge victory for stronger protection of tenants and our invaluable existing housing stock.


Though we still have much work to do in the effort to end the housing crisis and realize our vision of a city for all, a moment of celebration is in order!