Housing, public safety among SF mayor's priorities in $11B city budget

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) San Francisco Mayor London Breed today signed the city's budget 
for the next two fiscal years, pledging to invest in housing, street cleaning and public safety, among other things.

Breed signed the $11 billion budget for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscal years this morning, after the Board of Supervisors approved it at their Tuesday meeting.

"This budget will address our most pressing issues while also making a number of critical investments in our future," Breed said. "What we see on our streets is unacceptable and these budget investments are a key step to ensuring that San Franciscans see and feel a difference in all of our neighborhoods."

According to Breed's office, $60 million of the budget will go toward helping fund critical homelessness service programs, including the creation of 430 new permanent supportive housing units, a new $4.4 million Navigation Center for transitional age youth, two new access points to connect homeless families and residents to support and services worth $2 million, and $12 million allocated to rapid re-housing programs.

Also included in the budget is $5.8 million for a fund for tenants' right to counsel during eviction processes and $1 million to help stabilize residential care providers, guaranteeing that more than 350 people will be able to receive care while still being housed.

In addition, the budget provides more than $800 million to construct and preserve about 3,000 affordable housing units. The money is desperately needed, according to the mayor's office, as state and federal resources for affordable housing have been greatly diminished.

Breed earmarked $13 million for comprehensive street cleaning, including 44 new neighborhood street cleaners split across all of the 11 Supervisorial Districts, five new and fully staffed public restrooms or pit stops, extended hours at five other pit stops and expanded operations by the city's needle clean-up team.

The city's Fix-It team will get $725,000 from the budget in order to strengthen the team, which responds to quality-of-life issues.

An additional $6 million of the budget will be used to create a dedicated street medicine team, which delivers medicine to people suffering from addiction on the streets, a first-in-the-nation kind of program.

Breed also signed on to make investments in public safety.

The plan would allow for the deployment of 250 new officers over the next two years, with a goal to increase neighborhood patrols and additional staffing to address violent and property crimes.

Also, a $1.7 million investment will ensure that 272 police reform recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Justice are fully implemented. Another $1.5 million will go toward creating four new positions at the Department of Police Accountability, which reviews police use-of-force and office misconduct policies.

Funds were allocated to increase the city's emergency response efforts, adding personnel resources at the Department of Emergency Management and the 311 call center. Also, $1.5 million will go toward staffing a first-of-its-kind medical assistance response team that would coordinate with the fire department and respond quickly to service calls in the Tenderloin and Civic Center neighborhoods.

Today's signing of the budget marks the culmination of work that began with the late Mayor Ed Lee, guided by the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, Breed's office said.

"This $11 billion budget is a reflection of the values of the city of St. Francis, supporting the city's most vulnerable with compassion and problem solving," President of the Board of Supervisors, Malia Cohen, said in a statement. "I am proud of our investments."

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