Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mayor's Office of Housing Director Olsen Lee Speaks to BOMA Members

L to R: Hal Brownstone, Chair of the GAPAC and Olsen Lee

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The Mayor's Office of Housing Director, Olsen Lee, kindly spoke to members of BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee recently.

It was a pleasure to welcome Mr. Lee to the GAPAC due to our members' recent involvement - per the request of Mr. Lee - with the Mayor's Housing Trust Fund Working Group (HTF). The HTF was tasked with designing a ballot measure that would create a permanent source of revenue to fund the creation of housing that is affordable to low income, moderate income and middle-class households in San Francisco.  "There is a real need for housing in the City for the 100 percent," said Lee.

The HTF process was a collaborative one where all stakeholders from the real estate community were asked to sit at the table and express their perspectives. The goal for this new measure was that it be revenue neutral  (this issue of funding is still under consideration).

The Charter Amendment ballot measure is moving through the legislative process at City Hall, now.  You can access and review the measure here.

About Olsen Lee

Olson Lee serves as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) which is the local administrator of the federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME programs and is the successor Housing Agency for the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (the “Agency”).

Prior to MOH, Mr. Lee served as Deputy Executive Director of the Agency for 15 years, prior to its dissolution. Mr. Lee was responsible for the administration of the Agency’s housing programs, including the use of tax increment housing funds within Agency project areas and throughout the City, the administration of the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program, the oversight of housing project development, the administration of tax-exempt mortgage revenue bond financing, the administration of land dispositions, and the oversight of owner participation agreements. Since 1989, the Agency’s tax increment housing program provided over $500 million in loans and grants leveraging in excess of $1.9 billion to assist over 11,000 units and beds. The Agency assisted an additional 2,500 units from other funding sources. The Agency had an outstanding portfolio of $670 million in tax-exempt multifamily bonds. The Agency’s last annual housing budget was approximately $70,000,000 of which approximately $8 million were federal HOPWA funds. Mr. Lee has been appointed to the Oversight Board of the successor to the Agency.

Prior to the Agency, Mr. Lee worked for six years as Chief Housing Finance Officer at MOH. Prior to his initial position at MOH, Mr. Lee worked for nine years as Senior Multifamily Field Service Officer for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation now known as NeighborWorks America.

Mr. Lee graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Maryland, College Park. 

About the Mayor's Office of Housing

MOH coordinates the efforts of the City to maximize housing opportunities for low income households and individuals. MOH administers a variety of programs for housing finance funded by federal, state, and local sources. They also work closely with federal, state and other local agencies to coordinate their efforts with MOH.

The mission of the Mayor’s Office of Housing is to provide financing for the development, rehabilitation and purchase of affordable housing in San Francisco. MOH also guides and coordinates the City's housing policy. MOH administers a variety of programs to finance the development of affordable housing by non-profit and for profit developers, provides financial and educational assistance to first-time homebuyers, and finances housing rehabilitation costs for low-income homeowners. MOH is also responsible for monitoring and ensuring the long-term affordability and physical viability of the City's stock of affordable housing.

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