Daly: Spend $28M from surplus on housing 

Less than three months before Mayor Gavin Newsom will introduce his proposed budget for The City, Supervisor Chris Daly introduced an ordinance Tuesday that would authorize a $28 million budget supplement to fund what he is calling a "housing package."

"This is an item that is appropriate at this time for this board to consider," Daly said. "Yes, it is a large dollar amount on the face of it, but it is not significant compared to the struggles that working families face."

The City is expected to end the current fiscal year with a $127 million budget surplus, although it faces a budget shortfall of $25.4 million for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1; and an $85.3 million deficit for the subsequent fiscal year, according to a three-year budget projection issued by The City’s top accounting officials.

"It is undeniable that affordable housing continues to be one of the most important and vexing issues facing everyday San Franciscans … whether it’s lack of available affordable housing or the conditions that many of our residents are forced to live in," Daly said.

The bulk of the money, $20 million, would go toward the purchase, construction or rehabilitation of below-market-rate housing for families, seniors, those with disabilities and the homeless.

The legislation was co-sponsored by Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Ross Mirkarimi.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd voiced opposition to the budget request.

"While noble in purpose, it is absolutely irresponsible in practice," Elsbernd said. "The City’s finances cannot handle a supplemental appropriation of that dollar amount when we are currently facing labor contracts with our police and fire unions."

Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard said the legislation would "more than double" The City’s projected deficit for next year. "Doubling the deficit means that in order to balance the budget, cuts may have to be made in essential health and human service programs that benefit the neediest San Franciscans," Ballard said.

The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, which Daly chairs, is expected to discuss the budget request in April.

In other news

Parking placard abusers

TARGETED: Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, along with Mayor Gavin Newsom, introduced legislation that would allow The City to go after violators of disabled parking placards, which have been blamed for The City’s extremely low meter collection rate. The legislation will create a panel to review issuance of the placards and increase the fine for those who illegally park in disabled parking zones from $250 to $350.

jsabatini@examiner.com

Each day until voters go to the polls Nov. 6, The Examiner lays odds on local figures beating Mayor Gavin Newsom. Check out our exclusive blog: San Francisco's Next Mayor?

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