San Francisco housing project for homeless rejected

San Francisco Homelessness

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – As the affordable housing crisis continues in San Francisco, some city leaders, including Mayor London Breed, took to social media Wednesday to voice their frustrations over the Board of Supervisors rejecting a nearly 500 unit housing project in the SoMa neighborhood.

The project was to provide more than 100 affordable housing units.

Just a few supervisors supported the housing project while a majority voted to stop this plan from moving forward, citing concerns about gentrification.

However, Mayor Breed and other supervisors say otherwise.

The space at the center of the controversy is a parking lot near Stevenson and 6th Streets in San Francisco, currently surrounded by tents and homeless encampments.

The nearly 500 unit SoMa project was to include more than 100 affordable housing units, including everything from one to five-bedroom apartments.

However, plans came to a screeching halt on Tuesday when a majority of the city supervisors rejected the development with an 8 to 3 vote.

Supervisor Ahsha Safai was one of the few in support.

“A couple of years ago people would have rolled out the red carpet for a project that had 24, 25% affordable housing. Here we are today and it’s like we’re punching the golden goose in the mouth and we have the ability to do amazing things in San Francisco when it comes to housing but when we take for granted these opportunities they’re not always going to be there and we definitely have a housing crisis,” Safai said.

Safai, along with Supervisors Matt Haney and Catherine Stefani appeared to be blindsided when their colleagues rejected this plan, Mayor London Breed was also not happy.

She tweeted about the project on Wednesday: 

“It met the criteria for approval and it would have created 100+ new affordable homes. If you’re wondering how we got into our housing crisis, this is how.” 

Several supervisors, including Dean Preston, argued the project raises gentrification concerns.

“I think what the low-income communities in this city know all too well is that especially hundreds upon hundreds of market-rate units in a low-income community of course have gentrification impacts. I think there may be a dispute to which they have displacement impacts,” Preston said.

Breed addressed those comments in a later tweet saying:

“Supervisors raised vague concerns about gentrification and possible shadows to justify rejecting the analysis of the experts at the Planning Dept. This was in a hearing over supposed environmental concerns. We’re talking about a parking lot in SoMa surrounded by high-rises.” 

“If we’re serious about this housing crisis, we can’t vote projects like that down,” Safai said.

Meanwhile, city officials also nixed another plan on Tuesday for a homeless drop-in center at a vacant former McDonald’s site in the Haight, citing a lack of funding.

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