By Marc Arguello
Proposition K would authorize the city to use public lands specifically for low income housing. The proposition would expand the target income levels of housing developments allowed on surplus lands to a range of incomes, from homeless to those making nearly double the median income.
According to the city controller, the proposition wouldn’t cost the city any extra money if it were enacted, as the proposed changes would be taking advantage of the existing sources of subsidies for affordable housing.
The proposition would also establish policy that encourages the building of affordable housing on public lands that aren’t owned by the City and County of San Francisco, such as state and special district agencies. The policy would prioritize the building of more affordable housing over any other type of development on these lands.
Prop K currently enjoys overwhelming support from a variety of political parties, including the Democratic party and many of San Francisco’s news organizations. One party who has voiced its opposition to prop K is the San Francisco Libertarian party.
“The Libertarian position is that if the city has land that it doesn’t need or use, it should sell it at market rates and reduce the tax rates and ‘fees’ this city charges,” said Aubrey Freedman, chair of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco. “With the market as crazy as it is right now, it would get millions and millions of dollars.”
According to Freedman, if the city really wanted to help the middle class in terms of affordable real estate, the city should get out of the real estate business by selling off all the property it doesn’t need.