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London Breed budget targets affordable housing as key priority

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed presented her budget priorities on Friday that included expanding behavioral health beds, creating new affordable housing, and cleaner streets.

The budget for next fiscal year the mayor is proposing is $12.26 billion and $11.96 billion for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Before Breed unveiled her budget to city officials and some members of the Board of Supervisors, the mayor visited residents living in public housing units in Sunnydale. She said The City had failed on commitments to the Sunnyvale neighborhood:

“We owe it to them keep our commitments.”

New public housing units in Sunnydale are now being built as part of the HOPE SF program that looks to revitalize many of the old and dilapidated public housing units in The City, including many of the units in Sunnyvale — a reason why the mayor held her budget announcement in the neighborhood to show that The City is keeping its commitments for all neighborhoods.

Breed is committing funding for over $187 million to create new affordable housing, preserve existing housing, and prevent evictions. The mayor and Board of Supervisors President plan to place a $600 million bond measure on the November ballot that will help fund to build and rehabilitate affordable housing units.

Additionally, Breed is proposing $2 million in housing subsidies for a two-year pilot program for transgender and non-conforming city residents to prevent eviction, $5 million for prevention and diversion programs to prevent individuals from going homeless, and funding a program to give legal counsel for tenants facing eviction.

Breed said:

“With these commitments we can keep people stable. Keep them housed and prevent homelessness from ever becoming part of their life.”

The mayor is proposing 100 additional behavioral beds for people experiencing mental health and substance abuse disorders and providing the Fire Department with more funding for its EMS-6 crew that handles calls for people with mental health issues.

Breed is also recommitting to adding 1,000 shelter beds in The City by 2020.

Dirty streets were also on the mind of the mayor, as she committed $11.9 million to cleaner streets by adding seven new Pit Stop public toilets, 80 new BigBelly trash receptacles, and more street cleaning.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency plans to get $30.7 million to purchase more new light rail vehicles and to modernize the automatic train control system in the subway in Breed’s budget proposal.

An additional $2.5 million will go towards in support Vision Zero — The City’s goal of zero traffic fatalities by 2024. So far this year, 14 people have died in traffic collisions. Breed said:

“We have seen too many traffic-related deaths on our streets and this funding will help us double the pace of our protected bike lane construction and make our streets safer for pedestrians on our most dangerous corridors.”

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