Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman announce the City's intent to purchase building in Upper Market Area for affordable housing

Once built, the 100 percent affordable apartment building will likely provide permanently affordable housing for low-income seniors

Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman today announced that the City is in advanced negotiations to purchase the existing building and parcel at 1939 Market Street to convert it to new affordable housing. The project will provide 100% permanently affordable housing and will likely serve low-income seniors in the area. The property is located at the intersection of Duboce Avenue and Market Street.

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

“District 8 has experienced the second highest level of displacement of all districts over the last decade but has seen little new affordable housing built during that time,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. “The acquisition of the 1939 Market Street site will allow us to build desperately needed senior affordable housing units in Upper Market. I am grateful to Mayor Breed for her commitment to ensuring that LGBTQ seniors at high risk of eviction can remain in the Castro.”

The City will purchase the property with funds from the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF) and intends to use the 2019 Affordable Housing (Proposition A) funds for future construction of the project. In November, voters passed a $600 million Affordable Housing Bond to provide funding to build more housing in San Francisco. The Bond included $150 million for the creation of new affordable senior housing rental opportunities through new construction and acquisition. In 2018, when the City learned it would receive unexpected funds from the State due to excess ERAF, Mayor Breed committed to using a significant portion of the funds to invest in the City’s affordable housing programs.

“We are very excited to be in a position to acquire this site for affordable housing in such a transit-rich and centrally located part of the City where developable sites are rare,” said Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development Acting Director Dan Adams. “Once built, 1939 Market Street will add to our ever-expanding portfolio with over 80 new units of permanently affordable housing for seniors where they can age in place with a sense of continuity and grace.”

“Openhouse is thrilled to see the City move forward to create more affordable housing for San Francisco seniors,” said Karyn Skultety, Executive Director of Openhouse. “While Openhouse and Mercy Housing celebrate our strong communities of residents at 55 and 95 Laguna Street, the City’s first and only LGBTQ-welcoming affordable senior housing buildings, our heart breaks every day for the thousands of seniors caught in the housing crisis. We know that almost 3,000 remain on our waitlists alone, that people walk through the door every day facing eviction or living on the streets and that many LGBTQ seniors feel pushed out of a city they helped to build. We look forward to working closely with the City to create a San Francisco that centers our seniors in communities they can trust.”

“The opportunity to build more LGBTQ welcoming affordable senior housing and services so close to the Openhouse community housing campus on Laguna Street will establish San Francisco as the leading LGBTQ welcoming senior housing and service center in the country,” said Dr. Marcy Adelman, Openhouse Co-Founder. “It takes a combination of political will and community advocacy to develop LGBTQ affirming affordable senior housing. The Mayor and community senior housing advocates have once again shown a willingness to work together to make things happen.”

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.

Once the land transfers 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. Upon completion of the new affordable housing, the site will be transformed into a mixed-use development with expansive ground-floor activation opportunities.

Following approval of the purchase by the Board of Supervisors and finalization of construction funding, the City will select a developer through a Request for Qualifications process to develop the site.

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. In addition to the new funding, the City offers rental subsidies for seniors through the Dignity Fund and the Community Living Fund.