San Francisco city officials have chosen two developers to build the first affordable housing complex in the Mission District in 10 years.
What is now the city’s homeless Navigation Center at 1950 Mission St. is slated to become 165 units of rental housing for low-income and homeless families on city-owned land that will be leased to the developers. The site is a former school that sat vacant for years.
The units, according to a press release, will be available to families earning between 45 and 60 percent of the area median income. Some 20 percent of the units will be set aside for homeless families.
The $81 million, eight-story complex, just north of the 16th Street BART Station, will feature a rooftop garden, artist studios and a mural walkway, along with a community kitchen and media lab.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years of affordable housing, it’s that the sites need to be more than just apartments,” says Moss. “It’s not just about who lives there, it’s about what the site can do to reinvigorate and support the surrounding community.”
The project still needs city approval and will undergo a community input process. Moss is hoping it will break ground in 2017.
There wouldn’t be any car parking on site because it’s located in a transit-rich neighborhood, says Moss. There would be secure bike parking available and a bike share station nearby.
The land is one of four city properties being planned for affordable housing in the Mission, hard hit by a housing crisis that has mobilized activists, who have been putting pressure on city officials. A measure imposing an 18-month moratorium on market-rate housing development in the Mission will be on the city’s November ballot.
“We’re hoping that this is a symbol of taking a step in the right direction, of saying, ‘No — no more luxury housing, no more displacement, we’re going to start building more affordable housing,’ ” says Moss.
Tommi Avicolli Mecca of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco says between 2,400 and 3,000 units of affordable housing need to be built in the Mission. He calls the new project “a good start.”
“I think this is a clear sign that City Hall has finally heard the Mission, loud and clear,” he says.
Moss says the developers will be required to coordinate the relocation of the Navigation Center.