Housing & Tenant Protections
Housing: Affordable and Balanced Development
San Francisco is a better city when it is open to all, not just the wealthy. Connie is a strong advocate for the preservation and production of 100% affordable housing, focused on low- and middle-income residents. She also supports a balanced approach to development that prioritizes protections against displacement for vulnerable tenants, and local control so that residents can weigh in on new developments. Connie’s vision for housing development includes community benefits such as ground-floor space that meets the needs of the neighborhood residents, environmentally sustainable design, union labor and local hire, and more.
To achieve this vision, Connie supports and will advocate for the preservation and production of 100% affordable housing, focused on low- and middle-income residents. We also need to preserve existing affordable housing as possible, which means we need to preserve current stock of rent-controlled units and place further rent control regulations on units, including below market rate rental units built after 1979. Connie supports a balanced approach to development that prioritizes protections against displacement for vulnerable tenants.
The definition of affordable housing is housing that can be afforded by people at the Area Median Income (AMI) level between 0% (below poverty) up to 130%, ($160,000 annual income for a household of four) which include very low-income, low-income and middle-income in San Francisco. With this range of AMI, affordable housing can be provided for a senior on a fixed-income, public school teacher, childcare worker or frontline worker. And the fact that San Francisco has already hit more than 98% market-rate housing production yet still suffers an affordable housing crisis means we simply must build 100% affordable housing in our new housing development.
Most recently, Connie supported the $600M affordable housing bond Prop A and Prop E rezoning land for educator and workforce housing in November 2019. During her time as legislative aide to Supervisor Sophie Maxwell who was Land Use Chair, Connie worked on numerous housing development projects to fight for more affordable housing especially for low-income families, including Bayview Hunters Point Redevelopment, Eastern Neighborhood Planning, Trinity Plaza, to just name a few.
Tenant Protections and Support for Low-Income Homeowners
Keeping working San Franciscans in their city is a priority for Connie.
The current pandemic and looming recession has shifted the narrative around housing in the city and state. Connie knows we need to keep current tenants in their homes and assist them in weathering the likely coming recession.
Provide Tenant Emergency Rent Relief
She will look to rent relief efforts, expand the ordinance that suspends evictions related to loss of income due to COVID, and look to further expand renter protections to keep people in their homes during this uncertain time.
Help First-Time Home Buyers
Furthermore, she will push to expand funding for first-time home buyer programs, and support assistance for homeowners on fixed incomes. She will invest more deeply in the City’s small site acquisition program to preserve rent-controlled apartment buildings and prevent tenant evictions.
Connie knows that tenants are increasingly vulnerable in our City and that the Richmond District has seen the second highest rate in the City for Ellis Act evictions; as someone who was raised in the rent-controlled apartment that her mother still lives in, keeping our tenants stably housed is a top priority. Fundamentally, the challenge around the Ellis Act is the fight against speculative investors, and we need to continue to close loopholes and tighten regulations to prevent evictions by speculative investors. Connie supports transparency and record disclosure of Ellis Act eviction including Tenants In Common (TIC) evictions for data tracking, allowing policy makers to impose regulations and close loopholes based on data.
Transitioning Homeless Residents into Stable, Permanent Housing
Connie worked for community-based service organizations before beginning her career in public service, and understands firsthand how much residents rely on neighborhood organizations to get support and meet basic needs — particularly our most vulnerable residents. Services for families, seniors, immigrant residents and low-income San Francisco’s are a top concern for Connie.
San Francisco’s homelessness crisis has grown significantly, mimicking California and the rest of the country. Homelessness is a symptom of a systemic problem and that problem is the lack of equity, the lack of equitable access to healthcare, housing and job, and food security for many generations of working people.
Prevention is Key to Solve Homelessness
Connie knows that the best way to solve the problem of homelessness is to prevent it from happening to begin with by helping tenants to stay in their homes with housing assistance and help keep their jobs with job training.
Some may end up on our streets because of mental health issues and drug addiction but that’s not everyone who is homeless. Many of them are homeless because of traumatizing life events, losing jobs, losing loved ones, divorce or serious illness. The Richmond District has not received our share of city resources, despite the growing homeless population in the neighborhood. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to homelessness, so Connie will utilize a multi-pronged approach to address the range of reasons that people become homeless. Connie will fight for the resources and initiatives to help get unhoused residents off the streets and into shelter.
Coordinated and Efficient Services
We must also have coordinated city efforts around free job training and education with City College, providing meals, safe camp site, shelter, navigation center, supportive housing, and social services supported by federal and state funding, to help them get back on their feet. Connie will work to coordinate and utilize every tool available efficiently to truly solve our homeless crisis instead of wasting money on endless bandages that just trap us in the cycle of pitting our housed and unhoused residents against each other.