Housing and Public Safety Among SF Mayor’s Priorities in $11B City Budget
On August 1, 2018, San Francisco Mayor London Breed signed the city’s budget for the next two fiscal years, pledging to invest in housing, street cleaning, and public safety, among other things.
Breed signed the $11 billion budget for the 2018–2019 and 2019–2020 fiscal years, after the Board of Supervisors approved it at their Tuesday meeting. “This budget will address our most pressing issues while also making a number of critical investments in our future,” Breed said. “What we see on our streets is unacceptable and these budget investments are a key step to ensuring that San Franciscans see and feel a difference in all of our neighborhoods.”
According to Breed’s office, $60 million of the budget will go toward funding homelessness service programs, including the creation of 430 new permanent supportive housing units, a new $4.4 million Navigation Center for transitional age youth, two new access points for homeless families and residents to support and services worth $2 million, and $12 million allocated to rapid re-housing programs.
Also included in the budget is $5.8 million toward a fund for tenants to counsel during eviction processes and $1 million for residential care providers, so that more than 350 people will receive care while still being housed.
In addition, more than $800 million will go to constructing and preserving about 3,000 affordable housing units. The money is desperately needed, according to the mayor’s office, as state and federal resources for affordable housing have been greatly diminished.
Breed earmarked $13 million for comprehensive street cleaning, including 44 new neighborhood street cleaners split across all of the 11 Supervisorial Districts, five new and fully staffed public restrooms or pit stops, extended hours at five other pit stops, and expanded operations by the city’s needle cleanup team.
The city’s Fix-It team will get $725,000 from the budget in order to strengthen the team, which responds to quality-of-life issues.
An additional $6 million of the budget will be used to create a street medicine team, which delivers medicine to people suffering from addiction on the streets.
Breed also signed on to make investments in public safety. The plan would deploy 250 new officers over the next two years, with a goal to increase neighborhood patrols and additional staffing to address violent and property crimes.
In addition, a $1.7 million investment will ensure that 272 police reform recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Justice are fully implemented. Another $1.5 million will go toward creating four new positions at the Department of Police Accountability.
Funds were allocated to increase the city’s emergency response efforts, adding personnel resources at the Department of Emergency Management and the 311 call center. Also, $1.5 million will go toward staffing a medical assistance response team that would coordinate with the fire department and respond quickly to service calls in the Tenderloin and Civic Center neighborhoods.
Reporting by Daniel Montes