Mayor London Breed Announces Balanced Budget that Delivers Key City Priorities

Two-year proposed budget prioritizes public safety, homelessness, and behavioral health, and other critical services, and supports restoring San Francisco’s economy, while closing a substantial deficit
May 31, 2023

San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed today shared her proposed City budget for Fiscal Years (FY) 2023-2024 and 2024-2045. The annual $14.6 billion for FY 2023-24 and $14.6 billion for FY 2024-25 will continue to maintain and deliver investments for the City’s biggest challenges, including clean and safe streets, restoring San Francisco’s Downtown and economy, homelessness and behavioral health, and strengthening coordination and efficiency of government.   

"This is a moment of opportunity for our City, and this budget sets the foundation for our City to thrive,” said Mayor London Breed. “This budget continues the investments that are critically needed to build on core services that our residents, workers and visitors are counting on us to deliver. We have closed a significant budget deficit while still focusing on ensuring our City is safe, clean, and vibrant. Through continued hard work and collaboration across City departments and community partners, we will move San Francisco forward.”  

The City is working to implement the Mayor’s top priorities, including the strategic plans laid out in the Roadmap to Downtown’s Future, Housing for All, Home by the Bay, Children and Family Recovery Plan, and the Climate Action Plan.   

Mayor Breed’s budget builds on these strategic plans in her work to deliver a clean and safe City, drive the City’s economic recovery, confront the City’s fentanyl crisis, create opportunities for all San Franciscans to thrive, and ensure people have a safe and affordable place to call home.  

Delivering A Clean and Safe City  

The Mayor is committed to making San Francisco a clean and safe city for all. Public safety and cleanliness are essential for residents and merchants, and for the City’s economic recovery. The budget funds efforts to build back our police staffing and maintain key public safety priorities, including our alternatives to policing programs like public safety ambassadors, senior escort services, community-led interventions to both prevent and interrupt violence, and community-based victim support services.   

To meet long-term police hiring goals the budget funds 220 new police officers over the next two years, with an initial goal of reaching 1800 sworn officers by 2024. It also funds 22 new SFPD civilian positions, or Police Services Aides, who assist with administrative duties, help individuals with incident reports, and other work that frees officers to be on the street. The budget also maintains San Francisco’s Street Response Teams so call diversion efforts will continue to scale up and continues significant expansion of public safety ambassadors including SFPD Safety Ambassadors comprised of retired police officers, the new Mission Ambassador program, as well as existing Mid-Market/Tenderloin (Urban Alchemy) and Downtown and Tourist areas (Welcome Ambassadors) programs.    

The Budget delivers more tools to combat open-air drug markets in addition to critical behavioral health support for those struggling with addiction. The accountability work includes the recent expansion of prosecutors in the District Attorney’s Office dedicated to targeting drug traffickers and dealers. It supports safe parks by adding eight new park rangers focused on areas like Civic Center, UN Plaza, and other public spaces.    

Finally, the budget increases street cleaning by expanding Public Works cleaning crews or contractors who power wash sidewalks, remove litter, and sweep gutters. It also continues providing courtesy graffiti removal for storefronts and other private property in neighborhood commercial corridors.  

Restoring our Downtown and Economy  

Mayor Breed’s Budget makes significant investments in supporting her Roadmap to Downtown’s Future, as well as broadly supporting San Francisco’s economic recovery. While critical components around recovery include investments in public safety and street conditions, there are also targeted improvements and programs to help support a thriving economy.    

To strengthen the economy and fill vacancies in the city, the budget is balanced assuming the proposed tax incentive programs the Mayor announced earlier this year. To keep existing businesses stable, the Mayor proposes delaying scheduled tax increases for certain services until 2025. To recruit new businesses to fill empty offices downtown, she proposes tax incentives to new businesses locating in San Francisco for up to three years and to reduce commercial rent tax on subleased spaces.    

The budget funds key programs to help fill empty storefronts, including investments in the Powell Street Corridor, the new Vacant to Vibrant program, which matches pop-up activations with property owners, and First Year Free, which waives all city fees for new small businesses in the year they open. It continues support for Downtown activations to bring more people Downtown for arts and culture and invests in neighborhood commercial corridor improvements and activations, with and a targeted program in the Mission.  

Continuing Progress on Homelessness  

The budget will make an initial investment in implementing the City’s Five Year Strategic Homeless Plan, Home By the Bay, which set a goal of cutting unsheltered homelessness in half over the next five years. This builds on the 15% reduction in unsheltered homelessness San Francisco has seen since 2019.  

The budget funds nearly 600 net new shelter beds. With these beds, the city will have completed 58% expansion of shelter beds since 2018. It expands new housing by adding 545 new housing placements for the formerly homeless to the City’s current system. With these placements, the City will have expanded housing placements for the formerly homeless by 55% increase since 2018.  

The budget also focuses on prevention, to keep people from falling into homelessness in the first place, funding 825 new prevention slots for households, such as short-term financial assistance and problem-solving support to help prevent the inflow of people entering homelessness. To implement accountability measures and ensure the funding is deployed effectively and efficiently, the budget funds key positions to ensure the City has the capacity to execute the ambitious five-year plan.   

Ramping Up Behavioral Health Efforts  

The Mayor’s Budget include investments in expanding treatment beds and facilities, implementation of Mental Health SF and CARE Court to help those struggling with homelessness and mental illness, and an increased focus on abstinence-based programs to work alongside expanded harm reduction efforts for those most at risk of overdose.  

The Mayor’s Budget will continue efforts launched more recently, including the expansion of 400 new treatment beds, implementation of Mental Health SF, funding for overdose prevention services in high-risk settings such as single-room occupancy hotels (SRO), addiction care specialists in the emergency room at Zuckerberg General Hospital, and street outreach work.   

The budget builds on these programs with new efforts in key areas, including expanding abstinence-based treatment programs, launching CARE Court implementation, and opening Wellness Hubs.  

Supporting Children, Youth and Families  

The Mayor’s proposed budget continues to fund the Children and Family Recovery Plan, including leading early childhood and education initiatives like ensuring distribution of childcare vouchers to low-income families, funding for the landmark compensation initiative for early educators, pipeline programs to support recruitment and retention of early educators, and childcare facilities construction and improvements.  

The funding supports afterschool and summer programming designed to ensure continuous support and programming for children and youth outside of school hours throughout the school year and summer. Last summer, through the Summer Together Initiative 2022 over 30,000 youth were served. The budgets budget includes grant and city funding to continue reaching 30,000 youth in summer 2023.    

The budget funds the Student Success Fund, which was approved by voters in 2022. The Fund provides grants to the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and schools to implement programs that improve academic achievement and social/emotional wellness of students.   

Addressing Food Security  

In response to the pandemic, the Human Services Agency (HSA) established the City’s COVID-19 food support program, now referred to as the Food Access Program. This program successfully reaches tens of thousands of families. While federal funding to support these programs has ended or declined, the budget continues local investments in food pantries, grocery vouchers, and meals and markets, targeting community-based organizations that meet unique population needs.   

HSA will also continue to combat food insecurity by continuing to connect people to other longer-term assistance such as CalFresh, WIC, Medi-Cal, CalWORKs and IHSS, coordinating with other departments on food security interventions.  

Investing in Climate Action  

 The Budget invests in advancing the City’s Climate Action Plan, with a goal of being a net-zero emission City by 2040. The budget funds operations in the Department of the Environment to coordinate and execute on the plan, as well as significant investments in City Departments to meet San Francisco's climate goals.  

Good Government: Hiring and Contracting Reforms  

The budget continues the Government Operations Recovery initiative, a citywide effort focused on improvements to hiring, contracting, and other City processes that support the efficient and timely delivery of City services. The Mayor’s Budget supports building on initiatives launched last year in contracting, hiring, and financial management across City departments. In contracting, projects include centralized contract review processes and the creation of a one-stop shop that consolidates procurement plans from different departments. In hiring, projects include the creation of online, on-demand assessments and automated scoring for certain recruitments.  

Given the City’s uncertain economic future and recovery from the impact of COVID-19 remain, the proposed capital budget remains at a reduced level compared to the City’s Ten-Year Capital Plan, and significantly lower than before the pandemic. Capital investments focus on critical maintenance projects and include roof replacements, HVAC systems, and elevators, repairing potholes and sidewalks, repairs and maintenance across the park system, and ADA needs.  

Dream Keeper and Opportunities for All  

In June of 2020, the Mayor and Board of Supervisors announced the City’s $60 million ongoing annual investment into San Francisco’s Black communities. An impact evaluation of the last two years has found that the Dream Keeper Initiative (DKI) is beginning to deliver on its mission of remedying historical exclusion and divestment.    

Programs include technical and financial assistance for small or emerging Black businesses, homeownership and property maintenance support, physical and mental health support, and youth support through education, tutoring, and career planning. The Mayor’s proposed budget will preserve these investments and continue to build on the progress in the coming two years.  

The Mayor’s proposed budget also includes the City’s Enterprise Departments – the Airport, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency – which approve their budgets on two-year cycles. Their budgets were last approved in 2022 and while there are some adjustments to these budgets that will be heard in June, they will be considered in full again in 2024.  

The Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Appropriations Committee holds public hearings on the budget in June, makes recommendations for approval, and makes changes to the budget before it goes to the full Board. The entire budget is heard and must be voted on and approved by the full Board of Supervisors by August 1st. Finally, the budget returns to Mayor Breed for signature and final adoption.   

Mayor Breed’s complete budget proposal for FY 2023-24 and 2024-25 can be found here.