Kim calls for state law changes to regain Treasure Island housing 

Affordable housing targets for the proposed massive redevelopment of Treasure Island could be reignited if Supervisor Jane Kim and state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano can change a state financing law.

Kim, along with Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, spoke before a crowd of labor union members and Treasure Island residents Wednesday morning in front of City Hall to call for 400 additional affordable housing units that were dropped last month after project planners ditched the use of The City’s Redevelopment Agency. Redevelopment bodies statewide face an uncertain future following Gov. Jerry Brown’s announcement after taking office that he wants to wholly eliminate them.

Instead, Treasure Island will now use an infrastructure financing district to fund the project. Like Redevelopment funds, the districts allow governments to borrow money for development against the prospect of future tax revenue, just not as much.

After the rally, Kim said affordable housing was “the only option” planners had to meet the project’s budget needs. The rally came before a hearing of the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, where a general financial feasibility report for the project is up for discussion.

Mirkarimi said the affordable housing is an important aspect of the project, but supervisors should give the development the nod when it comes before the full Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

“It is now high time we move the project forward to passage,” Mirkarimi said.

It remains to be seen how supervisor and mayoral candidate John Avalos will vote on the matter in light of the affordable housing reductions.

Kim said Ammiano will attempt to attach the Treasure Island project to a bill designed to increase the vitality of infrastructure financing districts for the upcoming America’s Cup race in San Francisco.

The project aims to add 8,000 new homes to the former U.S. Navy base and it’s projected to increase the island’s population from 2,400 to 19,000. A City budget analyst’s report said the project will generate $80 million for The City’s general fund over its 20-year buildup.

Currently, the project calls for 2,000 affordable housing units.

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