San Francisco officials break ground on mixed income housing

San Francisco broke ground on a new housing project Tuesday that will help families and seniors who used to be homeless.

It's one of several affordable housing projects the city hopes will keep families from leaving the city, plagued with sky-high rents and cost of living. 

Among the many considering leaving because they can't afford San Francisco is one long time North Beach resident who is also the father of two.

"Every day you think, 'Should we move out of the city, so we can afford to do more for our children?' But we love it here," said Bruno Kanter.

Mayor London Breed and other city leaders broke ground, at least ceremoniously, on a new affordable housing project.

It’s actually two projects in one. When it is ready in two years, it will provide 178 new units on Broadway near San Francisco's waterfront.

The rents will start at about $750 a month. It will provide space for families, seniors and formerly homeless seniors.

"We are going to have mixed incomes, diverse communities living in these 178 units," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

This is the seventh major affordable housing project in various stages of construction since last July. Combined they will provide more than 900 units.

They can perhaps be a safety net preventing some from joining the thousands of homeless people on the street.

"It is a combination of preventing people from entering homelessness and housing people experiencing homelessness," said Sam Lew from the Coalition On Homelessness.

"When they move into those units, when they are looking out their window and cooking dinner on a new stove, can you imagine how it will feel especially if you didn't have a home in the first place," said Breed.  

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to place a $600 million affordable housing bond measure on the November ballot, $20 million of that would go to house teachers.