The draft plan to retain low to moderate income residents and community-serving businesses, artists and nonprofits in San Francisco’s Mission District has just been released for public review.
The Mission Action Plan 2020 (MAP2020) identifies programmatic services intended to “preserve the Mission District as a Latino cultural and commercial core, as well as a neighborhood of choice for the most vulnerable households.”
The six stated objectives of the plan:
- Maintain the socio-economic diversity of the neighborhood by stabilizing the low and moderate income households at 65 percent of the total households.
- Protect tenants at risk of eviction and preserve existing housing, particularly rent-controlled apartments and single-room occupancy hotels.
- Increase the proportion of affordable units, compared to market rate units, planned and under construction to balance the housing mix.
- Stem the loss of and promote community businesses, cultural resources, and social services serving low to moderate income households.
- Increase economic security by strengthening educational and economic pathways and job opportunities for low to moderate income individuals and families, especially those without a college education.
- Retain and promote Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) and other high-paying jobs for entry level and limited skilled workers.
The seven broad categories to be addressed and assessed:
- Tenant protections: Programs and funding mechanisms to keep existing Mission residents in their homes.
- Single Room Occupancy residential hotels (SROs): Addressing the vulnerability of people living in these units and the loss of these units as an affordable housing option.
- Preservation of affordable units: Tools to retain affordable housing stock.
- Production of affordable housing: Funding and policy tools to increase construction of housing for low to moderate income households.
- Economic development: Strategies to keep jobs, businesses, artists, and nonprofits in the neighborhood, with a particular focus on a diverse range of community-serving businesses to support the corner grocers, panaderias, taquerias, barber shops and restaurants.
- Community planning: Improving the community’s voice in the City’s processes for planning housing, transit, and community investments.
- Homelessness: Prevention of homelessness and services to stabilize the homeless as they transition into permanent housing.
And the Plan’s Phase Two issues, which are “ripe for discord and influenced by a larger and constantly shifting landscape of politics and economics” and loom large:
- Addressing the role of the current market-rate housing pipeline in alleviating or exacerbating the affordability crisis; the pace of market rate development relative to the pace of development of affordable housing; the percentage of inclusionary units produced in tandem with market-rate units; and the dearth of analysis conclusively demonstrating blockby-block impacts.
- Addressing Area Median Income (AMI) target levels for affordable housing, which are currently 60% for most 100% affordable housing projects, 55% for inclusionary rental units, and 90% for inclusionary ownership. These affordability levels are too low for most teachers, nurses, or service workers to qualify for but too high for some very low income households. Current AMI levels are set in order to qualify for federal funding. A shift in AMI levels could limit the availability of federal funding for housing development.
- Planning for long-term solutions for affordable housing.
- Improving the public’s access to and voice in the city’s processes for planning for housing, transportation, or other public investments; including addressing who is included in the development review process, what perspectives are presented by City staff to decision makers, and timely access to critical information such as hearing date changes and developer project information. This also includes making the MAP2020 process broader and more inclusive. The City is already taking initial steps towards these changes.
- Analyzing how transit and other city projects affect at-risk communities and gentrification and coordinate that analysis with this process to ensure mitigations are put into place and investments benefit traditionally disenfranchised communities. The recently installed bus-only lanes on Mission Street have raised concerns among some community members about impacts on businesses, the future of this street as a Latino cultural corridor, and potential increased displacement of existing working-class residents.
- Discussing the lasting power or relevance of earlier Plans or technical analyses, particularly the Eastern Neighborhoods [Environmental Impact Report], which some Mission groups believe is outdated and does not provide a reliable foundation for development decisions during this massive growth period and the many unanticipated changes that have accompanied it. While the City agrees Plans should be live and updated to reflect changes and sees MAP2020 as a vehicle to do that for the Mission Area Plan, based on the City’s tracking of projects and state law, the ENEIR remains a valid analysis and document. Based on cumulative impact discussions, some community members believe on the other hand that market rate development should be suspended while further analysis is conducted.
The draft Mission Action Plan and framework are slated to be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission for its endorsement on March 2, 2017.