San Francisco Board of Supervisors Pledges to Match NHTF with City Funds

On February 2, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution (File# 150822) committing to match all National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) dollars allocated to projects in San Francisco. The resolution, initiated by the Supportive Housing Providers Network of San Francisco, was introduced by Supervisor Eric Mar (D). In addition to pledging city funds to match NHTF dollars, the resolution encourages San Francisco’s delegation in the U.S. Congress to prioritize expanding revenue sources for the NHTF. Mayor Ed Lee (D) supported the resolution.

The city’s Land Use and Transportation Committee considered the resolution on January 25.  Mr. Mar stated that the rental housing shortage for extremely low income (ELI) households in San Francisco was so severe that the city needed to attract all possible investments from the state and federal governments. Mr. Mar noted that HUD’s interim NHTF rule requires that state allocation plans give priority to project proposals that use non-federal funds. Sophie Hayward, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, testified that “any federal dollar we can bring to the table to address ELI housing is a dollar we need, we will use, and we can deploy.”

At the hearing, Jennifer Dolin from the Supportive Housing Providers Network emphasized the cost savings in other city services when investments are made in permanent supportive housing. Paul Boden, Executive Director of the Western Regional Advocacy Project, made a presentation on the decline of housing affordability and rise of homelessness in the city. Also speaking passionately about the urgent need for expanded housing options for ELI households were several formerly homeless individuals involved in the Community Organizing and Resident Engagement (CORE) project at Community Housing Partnership.

San Francisco and Jackson, MS are the first two jurisdictions in the country that have pledged to match all NHTF funds allocated to their communities (see Memo, 5/4/15). These resolutions are excellent examples of how local advocacy can bolster the impact of the NHTF.

“It took years of organizing and advocacy from hundreds of people to win the National Housing Trust Fund in the first place,” said James Tracy, Director of CORE. “Today, the program is underfunded by Congress and ending the housing crisis means reversing the austerity agenda that has sent so many to streets and shelters. Our team of resident leaders appreciates the leadership of Supervisor Mar, and we will continue to work toward robust funding for ELI rental housing.”

Read a copy of Mr. Mar’s resolution at: http://bit.ly/1nwpO7n

For more information about the passage of an NHTF matching resolution in San Francisco, contact James Tracy at jtracy@chp-sf.org