Assessing the deal - Page 3

Labor Council makes pact with Lennar that could save the floundering Prop. G
|
()

That means $500,000 condos, which 70 percent of the Bayview can't afford."

Yet Cohen said it's understandable that the Labor Council crafted a deal that caters to those with above-average incomes.

"Affordable-housing policies over the last 10 years have tended not to address the needs of many of their members," Cohen said. "Many families make more than $64,000, so they can't qualify for affordable housing, but don't make enough to buy. This provides a fantastic and large-scale opportunity to address the problem of the squeezing of the middle class in San Francisco."

Public records obtained from the Mayor's Office show that prior to this latest deal, Lennar planned to build up to 75 percent market-rate housing at the site, including hundreds of million-dollar townhouses, thousands of high-rise units at $787,483, mid-rise units at $734,400, townhouses at $651,366, and low-rise units at $592,797.

But under the CBA, the top tier of condos that Lennar deems "affordable" cost about the same as the cheapest market rate units it had already planned to build, leaving only 1,566 rental units at rates truly affordable to San Francisco's low-income workers.

Paulson believes the resulting agreement "ensures that residents, workers, tenants, and future homebuyers have a path to new jobs and housing." He also claims that it is tied to the land, "meaning that it would be transferable to other developers if Lennar pulls out."

Joseph Smooke, executive director of the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, said he believes the jobs agreements labor negotiated are good. "It's the housing stuff where they gave away the store," Smooke said. "Why didn't they stick to the jobs piece and support Prop. F?"

Pointing to the Board of Supervisors' passage of policy saying that 64 percent of housing in eastern neighborhoods should be targeted at 80 percent of AMI and below, Smooke added, "There are ways to make 50 percent affordable work. This is free land. It's not rocket science. But is it city policy to protect a developer's stated desire for 18 to 22 percent profit?"

Meanwhile, Schwartz hopes SFOP and ACORN are being accountable to their base of low-income workers. "Lennar would like to tell you that if Prop. G doesn't pass, nothing happens. But in reality, the community's plan stays, plus now there is a 50 percent affordable-housing requirement," Schwartz said. "That's a win-win."

"For Newsom and Lennar to say that Prop. F is a poison pill — the irony is not lost on the Bayview," Schwartz added, recalling the city's failure to hold Lennar accountable for its promises and misdeeds. "We're looking to change the way business is done in San Francisco." *