Prop U dovetails with the City’s new increases in required affordable housing percentages by expanding the range of household income levels that would be eligible to rent an affordable housing unit. According to the Controller, this would increase rental revenue for property owners and tax revenue for the City. The measure is part of an ongoing debate about the appropriate income range for defining eligibility for affordable units, and reflects a desire to expand the range to include more low/low moderate income families (as opposed to very low income).
Prop U proposes to increase the qualifying household income cap from 55 to 110 percent of area median income. But it would retain the maximum allowable rent at 30 percent of a household’s annual income.
Under the current 55 percent cap, a household living in an on-site affordable unit may pay up to $1,121 a month for a one-bedroom unit and $1,261 for a two-bedroom unit. Under Prop U, a qualifying household could pay up to $2,241 for a one-bedroom unit or $2,521 for a two-bedroom unit, but could also pay less, depending on income.
The City’s Department of Elections website lists Thomas A. Hsieh as Prop U’s proponent, Supervisor Farrell as the proponent argument author, and the San Francisco Council of Community Housing Organizations as the opponent argument author.