A street view of a complex of three-story apartment buildings.

How Build Back Better Bill’s Failure Could Hurt SF’s Most Vulnerable

San Francisco could lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars for affordable housing rental aid and construction with the expected collapse of the Build Back Better social spending and infrastructure bill.

The programs included in the legislation would have allowed San Francisco to offer more subsidies to low-income tenants, repair poor living conditions in public housing and encourage the construction of more affordable housing.

Seeing Signs of Speculation, SF Allocates Millions to Buy Housing

Tenants, advocates and city legislators are worried about real estate investors buying multi-unit housing properties like this one only to evict all of the tenants and sell the buildings for a profit. They want the city and the nonprofits it works with to buy those buildings instead of leaving them for speculators to snap up.

A "check cashing" sign hangs above a storefront. While San Franciscans who owe COVID-19-related rent debt are eligible for relief from the government, those who borrowed from friends, family, and other sources are stuck with that debt.

Thousands in SF Saddled With Rent Debt but Ineligible for Government Help

Thousands of San Franciscans who borrowed money to pay rent during the pandemic are stuck with that debt, making them worse off than those who let the bills lapse.

Federal relief funds cover only unpaid housing expenses. That leaves tenants vulnerable if they made good-faith efforts to pay those costs by taking on thousands of dollars of debt to credit card companies, payday lenders, relatives or friends — especially if they later seek different housing.