Press Release: Supervisor Wiener Moves to Prioritize Low-Income Tenants Displaced by Fire in Affordable Housing Lottery
At today’s Board meeting, Supervisor Wiener to amend pending legislation to give fire victims preference under the Displaced Tenant category in the affordable housing lottery
San Francisco — Today, Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce an amendment to pending legislation that will help low-income residents displaced by fire stay in San Francisco by giving them preference in the affordable housing lottery. Currently, there is a preference in the lottery for tenants displaced by certain evictions. Supervisor Wiener’s amendment will add residents displaced by fire to those who qualify under the Displaced Tenant category.
Supervisor Wiener has legislation on the agenda for today’s Board of Supervisors meeting that amends the affordable housing lottery to prioritize San Francisco residents and workers in the affordable housing lottery. He will amend this pending legislation to include an amendment adding victims of fire to the Displaced Tenant category. Supervisor Wiener has previously responded to fire victims by creating the Good Samaritan Program, which allows property owners to rent to victims of fire on a temporary basis at a discounted rate. That previous legislation was initiated after a series of arsons in the Castro in the 2011.
“Victims of fire have no time to prepare for their displacement — fires are sudden and merciless,” said Supervisor Wiener. “But the City can help get people back into homes. We helped with the Good Samaritan Law, and we can help by giving fire victims preference in securing affordable housing. These low-income residents and families are extremely vulnerable to being forced out of the City. By giving them a real shot at an affordable housing unit, we will make a real difference in keeping them in San Francisco and in their community.”
Supervisor Wiener’s pending legislation creates a Live/Work preference in the lottery, which means that all people who either live or work in San Francisco will have priority in the lottery over those who neither live nor work in the City. The Live/Work preference will come after other preferences, which include those in the Displaced Tenant category (which will now include fire victims) and those who live in the same geographic area (known as Neighborhood preference) as the affordable housing development, which was passed last year.
After Supervisor Wiener amends the legislation to include victims of fire at the Board meeting today, the legislation will go back to the Land Use and Transportation Committee for another hearing before being returned to the Board of Supervisors for a vote the following week.
Supervisor Wiener has also worked to pass Code Enforcement reform legislation to improve building safety, which included strengthening the Fire Department’s code enforcement process, and to create more accountability and responsibility for all departments in investigating code violations in buildings. This legislation was passed in April.