November 7, 2016 Rob Poole

SFHAC Members Awarded Bid to Build Affordable Housing in Mission

Two blue chip affordable housing builders were awarded the bid for the 490 South Van Ness project, Mission Local reported last week. The Mayor’s Office of Housing announced that SFHAC-members Mission Housing and BRIDGE Housing won the Request for Proposals (RFP) to build on the vacant gas station at the corner of 16th and South Van Ness Streets. The building could include up to 89 permanently affordable homes if it applied the density bonus.

The History
The 490 South Van Ness site was originally approved as a 72-unit market-rate building. But, in response to the Mission’s housing affordability crisis, the City purchased the site for $18.5 million last July to become subsidized housing. This preceded the campaigns for the Mission housing moratorium and affordable housing bond that were on the ballot in November 2015.  Housing politics in the Mission are at an all time high and there is immense pressure to build more affordable housing in the neighborhood. Fortunately, the 2015 housing moratorium did not pass and the voters overwhelmingly approved the housing bond.

The Project
Located on the same block as the 16th Street BART Station, the site has been a fenced-off, vacant gas station for years. The planned homes will be affordable to residents earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or $58,150 for a family of three. Thirty-percent of the homes will be reserved for formerly homeless families earning 30-percent of AMI, or $29,100 for a family of three. The project team may use the density bonus to add a floor above the allowed zoning, though that primarily depends on construction costs. A non-profit would likely occupy the ground-floor space, which would be managed by Missing Housing.

490 South Van Ness

490 South Van Ness – Current Site

Funding would come from local, state and federal sources. The City plans to contribute an additional $10 million to 490 South Van Ness to complete it. Not including land acquisition, the total construction cost is expected to run $45 million.

Mission Housing is on a Roll!
This is the third affordable housing project Mission Housing has been awarded in the past year. Previously, it won the right to build 157 units at 1950 Mission Street, also as a partnership with BRIDGE Housing. Last month, it won the RFP to build 90 units in Balboa Park with Related CA. Executive Director Sam Moss told Mission Local, “I am really excited. I believe 16th and South Van Ness having 100 percent affordable family units will really activate that entire corner, and it’s something that I think that area has needed for a really long time.”

The 490 South Van Ness proposal is one of seven permanently affordable housing projects, totalling about 750 units, that will be built in the Mission over the next few years. The SFHAC congratulates Mission Housing and BRIDGE on their terrific work to create more housing opportunities for San Francisco’s most cost-burdened residents. Way to go team!

Rob Poole

Rob is the former Development and Communications Manager at SFHAC.

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