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More than 800 homes remain unfilled as thousands of unhoused sit on waitlist

More than 1,600 San Franciscans remain on a city waitlist for housing, while 888 homes set aside specifically for homeless people like them have been sitting empty, according to a newly published investigation from SF Public Press’ Nuala Bishari.

In an interview with The Standard, Bishari breaks down the two reasons people aren’t getting into all those vacant homes: the slow pace of the city’s paperwork processes and a new policy during the Covid pandemic that gave priority to people already in shelter-in-place hotels. 

Meanwhile, the city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing is working with a $598 million budget, most of which goes to establishing permanent housing.

Watch our interview with Bishari for the full story.