by Supervisor Shamann Walton
The Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco has had a long and deep history – from the “Butchertown” of the 19th century to the booming commercial shipyard of World War II to the strong African American community of today. However, that history and deep sense of community is threatened by the ever-growing housing crisis.
Residents who have been here for generations are being forced out by the escalating cost of housing and that is changing the very fabric of our community. The housing crisis is encroaching on the Bayview, leading to skyrocketing home prices that have increased by more than 190 percent in the last several years. While less than the city’s median home price, the Bayview median home price of $912,500 is well out of reach for many residents.
To fight the growing housing crisis and preserve the soul and character of the Bayview neighborhood, we must pass Proposition A on the November ballot. Prop A is a historic $600 million housing bond that does more than just build more housing to address the city’s housing crisis. Prop A will preserve communities by providing housing and development opportunities for all residents and allow long-time residents to stay in the neighborhood they love.
Funding from the bond will enable approximately 2,800 units of affordable housing citywide to start construction in the next four years – housing for some of the most vulnerable residents, including seniors, formerly homeless individuals, veterans, families and educators. Specifically, the bond provides $220 million for permanently affordable housing for individuals and families earning up to 80 percent of the area median income ($68,950 for a single person in 2019, or $98,500 for a family of four). The bond also specifically provides $150 million for affordable housing for seniors and another $150 million to repair and rebuild distressed public housing.
Further, the bond provides approximately $30 million to fund homeownership opportunities through down payment assistance loans, particularly for educators through the Teacher Next Door program. Homeownership has long been a pillar of the American dream and an opportunity for wealth accumulation, but more importantly it builds a strong sense of permanence and community.
This is a common sense solution to one of our toughest problems. That’s why it has the strong support of Mayor London Breed, every member of the Board of Supervisors, the San Francisco Democratic Party, Willie B. Kennedy Democratic Club and virtually every community and civic organization in the city.
We have already seen neighborhoods lose their sense of community because residents can no longer afford to stay. The history of the Bayview is intrinsically linked to the residents who have lived here and made the community what it is today. We owe it to them to vote yes on Prop A.
Supervisor Shamann Walton represents District 10, in the southeast corner of San Francisco, where Bayview Hunters Point is the largest neighborhood. A former member and president of the San Francisco Board of Education, he was elected as District 10 supervisor last November. He is vice chair of the Joint City, School District and City College Select Committee, a member of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, vice chair of the Rules Committee, member of the San Francisco Transportation Authority and member of the Treasure Island Mobility Management Agency. He can be reached at 415-554-7670 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Prop A and other November ballot measures at https://lwvsf.org/procon.