In addition to a proposed ballot measure which would double the maximum income one could earn and still qualify for a Below Market Rate (BMR) apartment in San Francisco, the paperwork for an initiative which would implement a new competitive bidding process for all developers of publicly funded housing projects in the city has just been filed with the Department of Elections.
From the filing:
“The City utilizes three affordable housing funds – the Citywide Affordable Housing Fund, the
Mayor’s Housing Affordability Fund and the Mayor’s Housing Program Fees Fund – and administers them through the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. These funds receive dollars committed to affordable housing from a variety of sources, including but not limited to mandatory inclusionary housing fees. The core purpose of each fund is to facilitate and finance the production of more affordable housing in San Francisco, which is generally accomplished by partnering with or providing financial assistance to for-profit or non-profit housing developers willing to undertake housing development projects that are either entirely affordable or contain a significant affordable housing component.
The affordable housing projects which use these funds are not currently subject to a competitive bidding process, which leads to wasted City resources and the use of City funds based on favored relationships instead of merit and cost. Transparent and fair bidding should be required of developers and builders who bid on affordable housing projects which receive City funds, and the bidding process should be a competitive one which maximizes the best price for the City and maximizes the amount of affordable housing which can be obtained in any given project.”
And the initiative’s stated purpose:
1. “To ensure that affordable housing projects funded, at least in part, with the City’s affordable housing resources undergo an open and transparent competitive bidding process.”
2. “To ensure that the City actively seeks competitive bids from qualified and competent bidders.”
3. “To ensure that the City, expect in limited circumstances, chooses the lowest bid in order to maximize the City’s return on its affordable housing resources.”
4. “To ensure that if the City does not select the lowest bid, the City must publicly disclose its justification for choosing a higher bid in order to guard against even the appearance of favoritism or impropriety.”
5. “To ensure that the City’s affordable housing policies seek to maximize the efficiency and minimize the costs to taxpayers of affordable housing projects.”
6. “To ensure that the City maximizes the amount of affordable housing which can be built in any given affordable housing project by getting the most out of the City’s affordable housing resources.”
If qualified, the privately-proposed measure, which has tentatively been titled the “Competitive Bid Process for Publicly-Funded Housing Ordinance,” would appear on the November ballot.