Below is the text of a letter SFADC member organizations and others sent to the Board of Supervisors emphasizing the urgency of the need for rent relief funds to be allocated in the upcoming budget.
June 29, 2021
Dear President Walton, Budget Committee Chair Haney and Members of the Board of Supervisors:
We are deeply troubled that the proposed City budget fails to address the extraordinary and urgent unmet need for rent relief in our communities.
Wednesday’s hearing before the Government, Audit, and Oversight committee confirmed on a macro scale what we are witnessing in our neighborhoods and communities: tens of thousands of working class and poor San Franciscans cannot pay their existing rent and both state and local rent relief programs do not have the resources to meet that need. More than 24,000 San Francisco households are behind in rent but San Francisco’s rent program is designed to reach less than a third of that need.
Despite this immediate and documented need the City’s budget is contributing $0 of its own funds for rent relief to tenants who need help because of the pandemic– despite the fact it is growing a reserve of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Ultimately, we need more than rent relief. We need permanent solutions to the housing crisis – a crisis that will only grow worse in the post-pandemic period. Therefore we are also disappointed that the budget fails to grow new affordable co-ops, land trusts, and other social housing.
San Franciscans united to support Prop I last November to address both needs and we continue to believe the City needs to honor that vote.
But the bottom line today is that our communities need an expanded rent relief program that helps more tenants who cannot pay their rent.
Unless the Board of Supervisors acts to correct the moral deficit of this present budget more tenants will be giving up their homes and leaving our communities to avoid unsustainable debt. The growing number of vacant apartments across the City is already testament to the failure of our state and city to timely address this need.
We urge you to mobilize the City’s reserves to address this crisis.
Affordable Housing Alliance
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
Bill Sorro Housing Program
Causa Justa Just Cause
Chinese Progressive Association
Central City SRO Collaborative
Chinatown Community Development Center
Community Tenants Association
Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC)
Housing Rights Committee of SF
Jobs With Justice SF
La Raza Community Resource Center
Mission SRO Collaborative/Dolores Street Community Services
North Beach Tenants Committee
Our Mission No Eviction
San Francisco Anti Displacement Coalition
San Francisco Community Land Trust
San Francisco Tenants Union
Senior and Disability Action
South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN)
Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation
United to Save the Mission