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Board of Supervisors approves acquisition of site for affordable housing in upper Market area

Once built, the 100% affordable apartment building will provide permanently affordable housing for low-income seniors, with a focus on serving people who are LGBTQ

The Board of Supervisors voted today to approve the purchase of the existing building and parcel at 1939 Market Street, allowing the City to move forward with building new affordable housing on the site. Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman co-sponsored the resolution to convert the property to 100% permanently affordable housing for low-income residents in the area, with a focus on serving LGBTQ seniors. The resolution allows the Real Estate Department to enter into the Purchase and Sale Agreement for the land sale.

“We need more affordable housing throughout San Francisco so that our low- and middle-income residents can continue to live here,” said Mayor Breed. “Projects like 1939 Market are exactly why we fought for affordable housing in the budget and why we passed the Affordable Housing Bond. I’m looking forward to seeing this housing development provide affordable homes so that our seniors can continue to live in San Francisco and age with dignity.”

“A combination of high land costs and a lack of developable sites make it difficult to build affordable housing in neighborhoods like the ones I represent,” said Supervisor Mandelman. “But if we are serious about keeping people from being displaced from the neighborhoods they helped to shape, we must figure out ways to make it work. The acquisition of 1939 Market Street will allow us to build desperately needed affordable housing for seniors in Upper Market, ensuring that LGBTQ seniors at high risk of eviction can remain in the Castro.”

The property is located at the intersection of Duboce Avenue and Market Street. The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) will purchase the property for $12 million with funds from the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund and intends to use the 2019 Affordable Housing Bond (Proposition A) funds for future construction of the project. In November, voters passed a $600 million Affordable Housing Bond, which included $150 million for the creation of new affordable senior housing rental opportunities through new construction and acquisition.

“Acquiring the site at 1939 Market Street will provide us with the opportunity to create a new, vibrant affordable housing community in a district that has not seen much new affordable production in recent years,” said Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development Acting Director Dan Adams. “MOHCD recognizes the growing need for affordable homes for seniors in the City, and we have expanded our portfolio to deliver hundreds of new units for low-income seniors in the coming years.”

Once the land is officially transferred to the City’s ownership, the current owners will sign a lease with the City to remain on site for a duration of 24 months, while the City procures a developer who will complete due diligence for the future affordable housing project. Following identification and finalization of construction funding, the City will select a developer through a Request for Qualifications process to develop the site, which will be issued by fall 2020. Upon completion of the new affordable housing, the site will be transformed into a mixed-use development with expansive ground-floor activation opportunities.

The affordable housing development will be part of the City’s Neighborhood Preference program, which Mayor Breed created when she was on the Board of Supervisors. Pending state funding, Neighborhood Preference requires either 25% or 40% of units in new affordable housing developments to be reserved for people living in the district where the development is built or within a half-mile of the project.

Mayor Breed has committed to creating affordable senior housing throughout San Francisco, and providing financial assistance for seniors to stay in their homes. The City budget for 2019-20 and 2020-21 includes $7 million in new funding for housing subsidies for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. In addition to the new funding, the City offers rental subsidies for seniors through the Dignity Fund and the Community Living Fund.