Ellen Lee ZhouYIMBY Action Questionnaire
1. Do you support YIMBY Action's ballot measure to streamline zoning-compliant affordable and teacher housing in San Francisco?
Yes, 101%. One of my goals as the Mayor of San Francisco is to find investors to build affordable housing for our teachers and school staff faster, to keep teachers for our SFUSD students and families. We want teachers to feel appreciate for what they do. Their current salary is not able to support them to stay as teachers in San Francisco. They are over work, under appreciate and under pay. I feel for teachers. But, our current City Administrators take forever to build affordable housing for our teachers and school staff. They keep on talking about building affordable housing for teachers, but where are the affordable housing for teachers? Where? When? How?
I, Ellen Lee Zhou, as Mayor, while we are waiting to build more affordable housing to support teachers and families, I’ve already identified a solution to provide affordable housing to support teachers and school staff. My goal is that within six months of my Mayor role, I hope to deliver this solution to solve housing crisis for teachers. Yes, I am the one and only Mayor can get this done quicker! I am an Action Taker and I deliver quality services to meet teachers’ demands. Together, yes, we can. Vote for Ellen Lee Zhou 李愛晨 on June 5th, 2018. Thank you. https://www.ellenleezhouformayor2018.com/school/
2. Do you support State Senator Scott Wiener's new transit-oriented housing bill, SB 827? Be specific about any amendments you think it needs.
I am not sure about this housing bill SB 827, how effective can this be if there are many opposition. Building housing projects with many people opposed is not a good way to interact with investors and residents. Any new housing bill must be supported both residents and housing developers. Our goal is to solve our housing crisis. Our housing ability does not meet our population growth. For example, people in the old days in Hong Kong, housing was a demand, and still is a demand today, due to explosive inner cities immigrants. What Hong Kong did and other cities in China did, they built more high rise buildings. But S.F. has earthquake problem. When it comes to supply and demand, if we set up balanced funds, provide legal support for landlords, treat property owners with respect and appreciation, we can immediate have housing from the 40,000 to 50,000 vacate units today. I am the most effective Mayor on this issue.
3. How many units of housing do you believe San Francisco should add over the next 10 years? Do you plan to continue Mayor Ed Lee's commitment to add 5,000 units per year?
Yes, 101%. My platform # 2. We will make our public dollars at work, build more affordable family housing to continue Mayor Edwin Lee’s legacy. I am from the Lee family from Taishan. Keep a Lee in city hall. We want to keep teachers and public services workers to stay and live in San Francisco. They are public assets for our city. We want to keep our family values to raise healthier children and youth. But, it takes time to build housing, while houses being built, I’ve already identified solutions to support SFUSD staff and teachers, see below # 3. https://www.ellenleezhouformayor2018.com/vision-2/
4. How do you think inclusionary housing percentages should be calculated in San Francisco? Be specific about how you think about the costs and benefits of this policy.
In order to be efficient, we need to do a need assessment of who and how many residents need affordable housing. Then, we can assess where are available spaces for new buildings, divide with fair bidders to start building houses with different companies. I was born and raised in a farm in China. We did things the family way that we took care of our common problems the village way. But, what I see in S.F is that there are many departments playing their power game that create a lot of hardship and steps for housing builders to get their permits. Compare to other cities, S.F. takes a longer time to get building permits to build new housing projects. It is discouraged for investors and housing builders. In order to make cost effective for new housing projects, we need to build housing within the projected date/time to reduce cost.
5. Do you support market-rate home construction in your district? What do you think the construction of market-rate housing accomplishes?
Yes and no. Yes, if people have a higher income, market rate is not a problem. No, but if people like us, public workers such as teachers, we are not able to pay market rate. Most of the workers are making under $120,000.00 a year, which we are not able to support basic housing needs. My opinion, the city needs to build more affordable housing for residents and workers, not paying more than 35% of their net income. We need to live a comfortable and quality basic life. If big housing companies are building more houses and apartments, they should give priorities to residents who live here for more than three years, struggle to pay more than 50% of their current rent.
6. If market-rate projects are opposed in your district, how will you interact with developers and project opponents to reach a deal?
The City has the responsibilities to enforce fair housing projects. If developers in housing business for bigger profit, unable to provide solution to our housing crisis, then we will look for housing developers who have a heart to help our residents. There is no need to build more houses if we can’t afford to rent them. What is the point? We need fair housing and affordable housing for all residents who need to live a normal S.F. life, no more than 35% of average income. I believe there is a will, there will be a way to find for developers who are willing to compromise for a greater good, win-win for investors and residents.
7. Do you support upzoning in San Francisco, particularly on the westside and in single-family-home-only neighborhoods? Where would you push for upzoning, and how?
Yes. We, the S.F. city has limited spaces for building new houses. Upzoning is a way to help improve our housing crisis. The local government can do a need assessment to see how much assistance a family needs to improve their housing space. Getting state and federal funds to help families to improve their housing needs.
8. How would you interact with supervisors who do not want housing in their district?
It is not about only the Supervisors’ choice. It is local residents who want to build housing. We are a democracy country that we will do a need assessment, to find who and how many housing projects can be built in which areas. It is not 100% up to one Board of Supervisor’s voice. It is local residents’ voice too. Perhaps, if the Supervisor is not willing to cooperate to build housing for residents in his or her district, tell this Supervisor to do something else. Our city has a housing shortage. We will do everything we can as City government to build affordable housing to meet residents and workers’ needs.
9. Do you support a by-right process for zoning-compliant housing developments in San Francisco, including market-rate housing? If not, be specific about how you would expedite housing construction in the city.
I am a Family Social Worker and I advocate for social justice. Housing is a human right issue. We will do everything legally to comply with zoning and rules to build more houses to meet residents’ housing demands. I will not by pass any legal steps to get things done. I will do the best I can to work with appropriate agencies to get things done the legal and right way to meet all the standards for building affordable housing projects. We need affordable housing before any market rate housing. It is a basic human right to basic shelter. No one should struggle between rent and food. We are in rich country and we are a high cost city. We, the local residents and workers should live in an affordable housing, no more than 30%$ of their net income.
10. How do you think San Francisco can work with the rest of the Bay Area to address regional housing needs?
I’ve already identified solutions to address housing crisis. Our S.F., city itself has limited spaces for new buildings. But many of our local cities can work with us to build and split housing profits/taxes to address our housing shortage. I’ve already having investors approached me to help our Bay Area cities to build more housing projects for:
- Affordable housing for families. It is all about supply and demand.
- Affordable housing for teachers and workers, keep them for our children.
- Affordable housing for seniors, to care for them like families.
- Affordable facilities to care for elders, with 24/7 services. We should treat with elderly with respect and care.
- Affordable facilities to care for our drug abusers, mental health patients, room and board to care for the sick and needy for rehab, to relocate our current homeless with problems to a concentrated area, provide job training and survival skills for them to be independent.
But our current problems with current City Administrators, they play politics. Things can be done quicker when I am elected as Mayor. I am an Action Taker. I have the network skills to deliver quality result to meet residents’ demands. If you wanted to see effective result, endorse and vote for me to be the Mayor. Thank you. Ellen Lee Zhou https://www.ellenleezhouformayor2018.com/