SAN FRANCISCO – Mayor London N. Breed announced a plan to support investments in housing and shelter as part of a broader Homelessness Recovery Plan that will help the City create more housing and shelter for homeless residents as San Francisco endures and eventually emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the Homelessness Recovery Plan, the City will expand capacity in the Homelessness Response System and will make 6,000 placements available for people experiencing homelessness through Coordinated Entry, including 4,500 placements in Permanent Supportive Housing. This includes acquiring or leasing 1,500 new units of Permanent Supportive Housing in the next two years, the largest one-time expansion in the City in 20 years.

The Homelessness Recovery Plan will include placements so that the City can ensure homeless residents who have been moved into Shelter in Place hotels during the COVID-19 pandemic are not returned to the streets. These exits include new and existing Permanent Supportive Housing, maintaining safe sleeping sites, and reactivating some spaces in the shelter system at a safe capacity with COVID-19 modifications in place. By the close of 2022, the City plans to complete its historic expansion of Permanent Supportive Housing.

“Throughout this pandemic, San Francisco has provided emergency housing and shelter for thousands of unhoused people, and we are continuing to work to help those living on our streets each and every day,” said Mayor Breed. “But we have also continued our long-term planning to provide housing and shelter for thousands of people for years to come. Even in the midst of this historic budget crisis, we can still do our part to move forward solutions, while still advocating for more support from the federal and state government. We know housing is the solution to homelessness, and by expanding access to housing, we can help people get more stable and also create more opportunities to help people off our streets and into our system of care.”

This system expansion is dependent on the passage of two measures on the November ballot – the Business Tax Reform measure and the Health and Recovery General Obligation Bond, in addition to activating further state and local funding sources. The Health and Recovery Bond received unanimous support from the Board at its first vote on Tuesday, July 14th.

The Mayor’s Homelessness Recovery Plan is based on proven approaches such as Rapid Rehousing, Prevention and Problem Solving, and Permanent Supportive Housing. Permanent Supportive Housing is the City’s most effective intervention for ending chronic homelessness for people with long histories of homelessness and complex health care needs. San Francisco currently has approximately 8,000 units of PSH which house approximately 10,000 people every night.

“This Plan is nothing short of a game changer. San Francisco leads in the most Permanent Supportive Housing per capita of any community in the country and with the Mayor’s leadership, will have the largest one-time expansion of housing in twenty years,” said Abigail Stewart-Kahn, Interim Director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. “It is critical that we provide more housing, shelter, prevention and diversion for those experiencing homelessness to realize our goal of not exiting anyone who came inside during this crisis to the street while preventing thousands more from becoming homeless during this crisis.”

As part of the City’s COVID-19 response, the City has opened more than 20 hotels with 2,527 rooms for vulnerable residents to isolate, quarantine and shelter in place, as well as 120 RVs and additional safe sleeping villages and sites. In the short-term, the City will continue to move approximately 1,000 more people currently experiencing homelessness off the streets and into alternative housing sites, including Shelter in Place hotel rooms, shelter, and safe sleeping sites.

Homelessness Recovery Plan

The City’s Homelessness Recovery Plan is as follows:

• Beginning this year, the City will move Coordinated Entry Housing-Referral Status individuals, some currently in Shelter in Place Hotels, into Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) units.

• In Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-21, the City plans to purchase and lease 1,000 new Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) units and add an additional 500 PSH units in FY 2021-2022.

• In partnership with Tipping Point Community, 200 of the newly leased units will be made available through a flexible housing subsidy pool, which matches people experiencing homelessness with private market apartments and provides support services and rental subsidies to keep them housed. Tipping Point and other philanthropic partners are also hard at work raising additional funds to support this Recovery Plan.

• The City will be looking at a variety of possible sites for acquisition to identify buildings that meet the needs of future tenants and that are financially feasible for the City. By 2022, the City will have completed the largest one-time expansion of PSH in the last 20 years, with 1,500 new units on-line.

• In addition to the new units, each year, the City will place approximately 1,500 individuals in PSH each year, identifying and optimizing a pipeline of units completing construction and maximizing turnover within the City’s current PSH portfolio.

• Additionally, the City plans to reactivate its adult shelter system up to approximately 1,000 beds, reopening more placements for people experiencing homelessness. This increase will maintain necessary spacing between residents and will include robust safety measures including daily health screening, social distancing, enhanced cleaning, testing, and other preventative measures. Due to the pandemic, the City’s adult congregate shelter system will remain at 50% total capacity to protect the safety of clients and staff.

• In fall 2020, the City plans to open a new first-of-its-kind Transitional Age Youth Navigation Center at 888 Post, providing beds for young people ages 18-24.

• In January 2021, the City expects to open a new adult SAFE Navigation Center at 1925 Evans Street to serve the Bayview community.

• Additionally, the City plans to continue the operation of 120 RVs to maintain this expanded emergency shelter.

• In addition to expanded exits to homelessness, the City will invest further in homelessness prevention as the City anticipates that people experiencing the crisis of homelessness may increase as the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic evolve.

• Finally, assuming the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, capacity in the adult shelter system will return to pre-COVID levels, reopening approximately 1,000 placements in previously existing shelter locations. (From SF Mayor’s Press Office)

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