Prop C Press Release – first funding announced!

10 12 2012


Investment Result of Voter-Approved Housing Trust Fund, Proposition C

San Francisco, CA—Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the first funding commitments for affordable housing and down payment assistance funded through the Housing Trust Fund, passed by San Francisco voters in November. The Housing Trust Fund provides a permanent source of revenue to fund the creation of affordable housing for low and middle income households for the next 30 years.

“A growing and vibrant economy requires a diverse supply of new housing,” said Mayor Lee. “San Francisco voters know that creating a permanent source of revenue to fund housing production will allow San Francisco to remain a viable place to live and work for people at all levels of the economic spectrum. And, a down payment assistance program will help keep families in our City and support a diverse workforce.”

The first affordable housing project funded from the Housing Trust Fund is the long-stalled 55 Laguna Senior Housing project located on the former University of California Berkeley Extension campus in the Hayes Valley neighborhood. The project is funded by the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) at $6.1 million and is a joint-venture of Mercy Housing California and Openhouse. It will create 110 units of affordable housing for low income seniors. The project has been on hold for eight years due to the downturn in the economy and a lack of local resources.

“We are very excited that the City has been able to commit the funding to this important project to allow us to move toward start of construction in the summer,” said Mercy Housing California President Douglas Shoemaker. “It’s an honor to be the first affordable housing project funded with revenue from the Housing Trust Fund.”

This announcement comes on the heels of a number of important affordable housing milestones, including:

  • Soon to be completed Kelly Cullen Community – 172 new SRO units of housing for the formerly homeless in the historic Central YMCA building at 220 Golden Gate Avenue, that will also house a new Integrated Health and Homeless Clinic run by the Department of Public Health;
  • Soon to be completed Veterans Commons at 150 Otis – 76 new SRO units in a historic City-landmarked building that will serve homeless U.S. veterans with support services including case management, mental health counseling, drug dependency, and employment programs will be provided by the City’s Human Services Agency, the Veterans Administration, and Swords to Plowshares; and
  • Bond closing for Candlestick Heights – located in the Bayview, Candlestick Heights, the project will provide 196 units of affordable housing, constructed entirely without City subsidy.

Additionally, Mayor Lee announced an increase to assistance limits under the City’s Downpayment Assistance Loan Program (DALP). DALP provides financial assistance to qualifying first-time homebuyers through deferred payment loans that are repaid to the City. Earlier this year, the maximum amount of the loan was reduced to $70,000 per household due to lack of funding. With the passage of Proposition C, the limits have been returned to their original levels of $100,000 per household.

The Housing Trust Fund begins with a general fund revenue capture in year one of $20 million and increase to $50 million over time. It is estimated that $1.5 billion will be invested in affordable housing production and housing programs over the next 30 years. The Housing Trust Fund will:

  • Develop more than 9,000 units of permanently affordable housing for residents whose average median income (AMI) is 60 percent or below;
  • Create incentives for onsite below market rate housing and make housing more accessible for moderate income families;
  • Invest at least $15 million over the first five years to expand the City’s down payment assistance program (DALP) which provides interest-free loans to moderate income homebuyers who are looking to purchase their first home in San Francisco. DALP will also include a new program to assist the City’s first responders in the purchase of a home in San Francisco;
  • Create a Housing Stabilization Program to help distressed low and moderate income residents remain in their homes; and
  • Create a Complete Neighborhoods Infrastructure Grant program to fund public realm improvements such as “pocket” parks and child care facilities for growing neighborhoods.

The Housing Trust Fund will capture revenue from former Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Tax Increment, a small portion of Hotel Tax that has been appropriated yearly for affordable housing, plus an additional $13 million in new General Fund revenue from an increase in business license fees. The consensus business tax reform measure, Proposition E, which also passed on the November ballot, will generate $28.5 million in the first year – $13 million of which will go to fund affordable and workforce housing.


Text message art to highlight SF housing issues

7 12 2012

From Bay City News, full article HERE

“I’m worried about how the community’s fabric of San Francisco is changing, and wanting to do more than just voice concerns about it,” [Anthony Williams] said. “I want to get people really thinking of what type of community they want to live in.”

“I wish San Francisco ___”

6 12 2012



Join us this Friday!

Get connected, get smart and start up a sustainable community!

“Text-A-City: Start Ups for Sustainable Communities” is a night of interactive art and lively conversation designed to raise awareness about affordable housing solutions in San Francisco.

The interactive art will invite the public to send text messages expressing their wishes for sustainable living to be projected onto the outdoor wall of A Temporary Offering (ATO) at Market and & 7th Streets in San Francisco’s MidMarket neighborhood. Featured artist: Paul Notzold, TXTual Healing.

Inside ATO, short panel discussions on a variety of affordable housing opportunities and innovations will promote entrepreneurship, advocacy and community-building in regard to providing affordable housing for all people in our diverse and vibrant city. Topics will include urban sustainability, mixed-income housing and collective entrepreneurship. Moderator: Kevin O’Malley, Tech Talk / Studio, and the Business and Leadership Forum of the Commonwealth Club. Panelists (list in formation): Peter Cohen, San Francisco, Council of Community Housing Organizations; Carla Mays, Social Innovators and Investors Resource; Sam Tepperman-Gelfant, Public Advocates; Tracy Parent, San Francisco Community Land Trust. Invited Participants: Jenna Sampson, Twitter; Oscar Grande, PODER; Majora Carter, Majora Carter Group; Raines Cohen, Co-Housing California; Dan Murphy, Urban Green DevCo; David Baker Architects; SPUR.

“Text-A-City” happens December 7th, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm at A Temporary Offering, 1106 Market Street @ 7th Street in San Francisco.

This is a flash mob benefit for the San Francisco Council on Community Housing Organizations. Donations are sliding scale $5 to $15, with no one turned away for lack of funds.

Live music + cash bar + popup food on hand!


This event is presented by swap/meet in association with artists Anthony Julius Williams and Dan Bouthot.

We did it!

9 11 2012

We did it! Thanks to the hard work and dedication of thousands of San Franciscans to affordable housing in this City, we won the Housing Trust Fund!

We are really proud of what we accomplished together on the campaign, walking over 300 precincts (many of those twice!) and mobilizing hundreds of building tenants and grassroots members. We won with an overwhelming 65% of the vote, and put San Francisco on the map, again, as a national leader in affordable housing, making us the first city in California with a permanent local source, and committed our city to the long-term development of affordable and supportive housing in the post-Redevelopment era.

Our success depended on a wide network of progressive allies, the Human Services Network, the Coalition on Homelessness, SF Rising, Coleman, Causa Justa::Just Cause, Jobs with Justice, the Progressive Revenue Coalition, ACCE, and others, with whom we will need to continue to build over the coming years. Our victory for a local permanent source for affordable housing is also testament to the legacy of many years of hard work by Calvin Welch and Rene Cazenave. Proposition C’s success lays the foundation for further policy wins into the future, the ongoing tasks of working to create a city of opportunity, equity, and diversity.

Even as we celebrate, we must not forget the other side: 35% of our city voted against affordable housing. We have a long road still ahead, building new relationships and alignments with a changed Board of Supervisors, making new friends with neighborhoods and communities, weathering the uncertainty of a still-shaky economy, navigating a long list of game-changing land use and policy proposals coming at us, and the fundamentally important work of building a movement with our progressive allies.

To victory! And the struggle continues!


6 11 2012

Tuesday night, join us at the Rio Grande bar, 1108 Market St. (btwn 7th St & Jones St), starting at 7:30 pm.

Celebrate a successful campaign with the PODER DJ crew, live election results, light food and excellent cocktails (cash only).


League of Women Voters on Prop C

6 11 2012

Click on the photo below to check out CCHO’s Peter Cohen debating the Libertarian Party on the merits of Prop C.

Marching for Housing Justice – YES on C! YES on E!

5 11 2012

Marching for Housing Justice on a beautiful day before Election Day, from the cable car turnaround to Civic Center, with a wonderful group of friends and allies – with the Coalition on Homelessness, SRO Families United, Chinatown CDC, SOMCAN, Housing Rights Committee, Coleman, Jobs with Justice, and the Council of Community Housing Organizations! Long live rent control, long live affordable housing!!!


Get out the vote for Props C & E!

4 11 2012




  1. March for Props C & E. Monday morning November 5, 2012, at 10 am, we will join the Coalition on Homelessness, SRO Families United, the Chinatown Community Development Center, and our allies for a rally and March in support of Props C & E. Please join us, and raise your voices in support of Affordable Housing for All! 10 am, Market and Powell cable car turnaround to City Hall.
  2. Get Out The Vote! Monday through the end of Election Day Tuesday, join us for GOTV visibility and phone banking to our IDed voters! Every vote counts! Join us at campaign headquarters, 2778 Market & Noe, pick up picket signs and t-shirts, or join us on the phone banks!
  3. Election Night! Tuesday night, join us at the Rio Grande bar, 1108 Market St. (between 7th St & Jones St), starting at 7:30 pm. With the PODERoso DJ crew, live election results, and a cash-only bar (volunteers come early for food and drinks!). Friends and allies of Prop C, please let all your hard-working election volunteers know, and see you on the other side of the finish line!

Prop C on film!

1 11 2012

Click on the photo to check out’s spot on the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Thank you Dyan Ruiz and Joseph Smooke!





Bicyclists for Prop C!

31 10 2012

And thanks to David Baker for leading the Affordable Housing Day bike tour!

Prop C – HELL YES!!!

31 10 2012

Thank you to the San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters for giving Prop C a “HELL YES” endorsement! Here is what they said:

Prop C – Affordable ‘Housing Trust Fund’ – HELL YES!
When redevelopment agencies were dissolved, everyone rallied to find a new source of income to build affordable housing. Prop C will recapture property tax $ meant for those agencies, plus some of the new cash from Prop E (see below). It’d guarantee $1.2 billion over 30 years for affordable housing – we say hell yes!

Cats and Dogs for Prop C!

24 10 2012

How can we not win when Gina the Cat and the Bernal Fiesta Dog say “YES on C”???

Thanks Amy Beinart and Todd Lapin.

Treasures Abound: Treasure Island for Prop C

24 10 2012

Thanks to the Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative (TIHDI) and the feisty TIHDI/CCCYO/CHP crew for getting Treasure Island for Prop C!


Episcopal Community Services urges San Francisco voters to ‘Vote YES on Prop C’

19 10 2012

Our mission at Episcopal Community Services is to assist people in ending homelessness in their lives, but affordable housing is scarce in San Francisco and will become scarcer without Prop C. Just last year, rent increased by 12%, making San Francisco one of the most challenging rent markets in the U.S. Prop C will safeguard funds that were originally destined for affordable housing in the recently dissolved state redevelopment agencies. Over the next 30 years, Prop C will provide for 9,000 units of quality affordable homes for people who are being priced out of San Francisco, such as single people earning less than $44,000 or a family of four earning less than $93,000.

Read more on the Episcopal Church Diocese web site!





Proposition C is housing for all of us! Letter from Oscar Grande of PODER

16 10 2012

From last week’s Prop C press conference at BHNC’s Crocker Amazon Senior Apartments in the Excelsior.


Proposition C is “housing for all of us”. 

We live in one of the greatest cities in the world, but it’s one of the most expensive cities in the country.  Prop C’s Housing Trust Fund will create opportunities for you and I to live and thrive in the City we love.  Over a billion dollars over thirty years for building low-income affordable homes, doubling the size of the city’s first-time homebuyer loan program, a new program to stabilize the foreclosure crisis, and incentives to build privately-funded mixed-income projects. A key feature to making this work is successful collaboration with government, non-profit developers, private developers and you, who have invested so much to make this City such an awesome place to live, work and play.

I was born and raised in this community, I love my neighborhood and the people, the small mom and pops, the rich cross-culture of ideas and traditions, the community institutions that we know and trust. I am raising 4 children and my wife teaches public school in the Mission. I work at a nonprofit organization PODER. I organize community residents for affordable housing and environmental justice. We don’t make a lot of money; as a working family we worry about the future of our children- their education, their health, their careers, the economy. Affordable housing is a big part of our concerns. I’m part of a generation whose family immigrated to this country, settled in San Francisco, landed good blue-collar union jobs, bought a home in the Excelsior, and began to lay down long-term roots. I have benefited from this stability. My experience is unlike many of the families I know- kicked out, priced out, foreclosed on, and living in deplorable conditions. My family and I have been able to focus on building assets, getting involved in our community, raising our kids. We shouldn’t have to struggle for housing – housing is a basic human right!

Why we need to support Prop C?

As someone who has spent the last 15 years advocating and organizing my community for affordable housing, I can tell you that the key to making this a success is collaboration and cooperation. The old adage that it takes a village is exactly what this proposition is all about. With the closure of redevelopment agencies it got a lot harder to build and finance affordable housing. Prop C will provide an essential source of funding to make the it easier for non-profits developers to do what they know best – build and manage the most kick-butt affordable homes on the West Coast. Here in my neighborhood there are ripe publically owned lands sitting vacant and under-utilized. San Jose & Geneva in one example. Prop C money could be the solution to putting our City to work and building much needed affordable housing on that site. It’s close to BART, buses, local business, near City College, Balboa High School, and Denman.

On November 6 vote yes on Prop C “Housing for all of us”

Do it for you’re your kids, do it for your co-workers, do it for your neighbors, do it for your grandparents, and do it for yourself. We work to hard to make this City the greatest place in the world, we deserve to live and plant roots here. We don’t deserve to be priced out. We deserve to benefit from all our hard work.


Propositions C + E in District 5 & 9

15 10 2012



As we gear up for the final push on our Prop C campaign, we are joining forces with Prop E to drop a joint door hanger in Districts 5 & 9 over the next two weeks (as well as a Chinese language joint door hanger in District 1 & 3 with our Chinatown allies). Join us at 10:00 am to spread the word about Propositions C & E throughout these two key progressive districts. Prop C t-shirts to the first 20 to arrive!

More than just an affordable housing measure, CCHO sees the Housing Trust Fund as part of an overall strategy for the City’s future. Props C and E advance a comprehensive Housing and Economic Development vision for the City. Props C and E are supported by a broad range of stakeholders from across the political spectrum –business and organized labor, housing and tenant organizations, and health and human services. Together Props C and E address structural deficiencies in critical infrastructure for the city’s neighborhoods – affordable housing, supportive services and small businesses.

Yes on C & E!



October 20, 2012, 10:00am-12:00pm  |  365 Fulton (at Gough)


October 27, 10:00am-12:00pm  |  3224½ 22nd St. (at Mission) 


Prop C in the Bayview!

15 10 2012
A big thanks to all who helped in our Prop C mobilization in the Bayview last Saturday! Thanks especially to SFHDC for hosting us at Bayview Commons, and to their staff and volunteers (esp. Marlene Harris and Sister Stephanie) for our most prepared and well-fed mobilization so far, and to SFHDC’s youth for covering several precincts. In addition to SFHDC, TNDC, CHP, BHNC, ECS, and the Northern California Carpenters Union walked precincts. Oh, and three of our EDs walked precincts this weekend! CCDC covered Visitation Valley the week before, and SPUR will be covering Potrero Hill in a couple of weeks, so we will have done all of District 10 by Election Day.
Next week, we will be back in the Western Addition for the start of our final push to the finish line, with a new joint Prop C and Prop E door hanger.

This Saturday – Prop C in the Bayview!

12 10 2012





October 13, 2012, 10am – 12 pm

4439 Third St. (Bayview Commons)

At 10 am, please join us for a “Yes on C” mobilization and precinct walk, starting at one of SFHDC’s affordable housing sites in the heart of the Bayview. We will have refreshments and Prop C t-shirts while they last!

PODER youth leader Alejandra Guzman speaks for Prop C

10 10 2012

Thank you Alejandra for speaking out for affordable housing at the District 11 rally! With friends like these how can we not win???

Hello everyone my name is Alejandra Guzman, and I am a youth member from PODER, which stands for People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights. I am here today to talk about the importance of why Prop C, the Housing Trust Fund must pass. San Francisco has always been culturally diverse; there are people of a variety of backgrounds that bring unique qualities to our city. However, San Francisco has become expensive to live in. As a result, this has forced many people to move out of the city because families cannot afford increases in rent. One of the alternatives that people choose to avoid increasing rent is by applying to affordable housing apartments. The problem is that there is not enough affordable housing in the city for everyone to live in. I consider myself very fortunate because my father and I were accepted at an affordable housing apartment building. But it made me wonder, what was going to happen to those hundreds of families who got turned away? The majority of people who could benefit from affordable housing buildings are working class and people of color. They are the ones who have been impacted the most by displacement and gentrification. These San Franciscans are one of the backbones of this city and contribute greatly to its workforce as well as economy. It is unacceptable that we allow for this to happen because it is the city’s duty to protect the rights of those who have invested in it. There is a dire need for affordable housing since everyone, no matter what their income is, has the right to live in San Francisco.

Although our communities are being greatly impacted by displacement and gentrification, people have been coming together and working around these issues. PODER and other community based organizations have been organizing to ensure that the working class can stay in the city by fighting for more affordable housing. A great example of this work is the Balboa Upperyard, which is not so far from here. The Upperyard is vacant city owned land on San Jose and Geneva Avenue that should be dedicated to benefiting our communities. This year Communities United for Health and Justice (CUHJ) a coalition of community based organizations, was able to take back the Balboa Upperyard and is in the process of turning that property into affordable housing! The Upperyard is a great example of the city and community working together to meet our community’s needs.

It is crucial that Proposition C pass so that the working class and people of color can continue to live in San Francisco. Proposition C will ensure that affordable housing projects, like the Balboa Upperyard, that are in the process of being developed, are completed and readily available for families. It will also create the opportunity for new affordable housing proposals to be developed throughout the city. We love our city and the variety of people who make it up and want everyone to be able to live here. Thank you.

Prop C and Affordable Housing Day, in District 11!

9 10 2012


A big thanks to all who helped in our Prop C mobilization and Affordable Housing Day efforts last Saturday!

Thanks to Mayor Lee and Supervisor Avalos at the rally in the Excelsior, making the case for Prop C together with our neighborhood allies (PODER, Coleman, ACCE, etc.), and everyday folks fighting foreclosures. We had a strong turnout, good energy, and press! A special thanks to Bernal for hosting the rally and the mobilization site. We covered 35 precincts in District 11, with Coleman Advocates covering 17 precincts on their own! Thanks also to PODER, ECS, TNDC, HRC, AND, ALRP, Hospitality House, Dolores Street Community Services, and Senior and Disability Action for their weekend volunteers!

And Affordable Housing Day San Francisco was a resounding success, with 13 open houses, and some sites receiving close to 75 visitors. The large numbers of people who showed up looking for applications reminds us of the incredible need for housing in San Francisco and the need for a local permanent source (and some lessons for next time). We hope this will be the first of many, perhaps in conjunction with the Bay Area’s “Affordable Housing month.” Thanks again to the AIA, SPUR, the many CCHO staff who put many hours into this (especially Mara Blitzer of TNDC), and the many tenants who opened their units and proudly showed off their homes.
Here’s the article in Saturday’s Chronicle.
And the Bay Guardian:

And don’t forget, next Saturday, October 13, we will be dropping Prop C door hangers in District 10, mobilizing out of SFHDC’s Bayview Commons on 4439 Third St (in the Bayview) and also out of the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, 953 De Haro (in Potrero).