Chirag Bhakta receives 2017 Daniel E. Koshland Civic Unity Award

Chirag Bhakta gestures toward his parents from the stage of Brava Theater, during the 2017 Koshland Civic Unity Awards. Photo by Tony Bear!

The Koshland Committee of The San Francisco Foundation selects Chirag Bhakta for the 2017 Koshland Civic Unity Award; forms a five-year partnership with the Koshland Program

The Koshland Committee of The San Francisco Foundation has selected Chirag Bhakta, Community Engagement Coordinator for Mission Housing Development Corporation, as a recipient of the 2017 Koshland Civic Unity Award. The award honors his contributions to the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco and forms a five-year partnership with the Koshland Program.

Mission Housing Development Corporation | Marisela Esparza

Marisela Esparza, Program Manager of San Francisco Immigrant Legal & Education Network also received the Koshland Civic Unity award. Esparza is a board member of Mission Housing Development Corporation.

In celebration and recognition of his community work, Bhakta receives a personal award of $1,000. He will also collaborate with other neighborhood Fellows and the Koshland Committee in the allocation of approximately $300,000 over the next four years toward projects and efforts improving the quality of life in the Mission.

Bhakta and eleven others were feted in a ceremony at Brava Theater on June 28, 2017.

“To be honored in such a way, all this prestige along with a cohort of people I can honestly say I look up to,” Bhakta said in his remarks from stage. “I am humbled, I am elated to work with you all for the next half a decade”

“Half a decade for us to learn from each other, bond with each other, and build something together.”

“Chirag has a great deal of passion and love for our community, which fuels the great work he is doing at Mission Housing,” said has selected Marcía Contreras, Director of Operations and Resident Services. “He is matched-up with a very well-rounded, like-minded group of leaders. All of them are not afraid to fight for what is right and speak for those who can’t do it on their own.”

“Congratulations to all the Fellows. Their passion to make the Mission better inspires me!”

In recognizing community leaders, the Koshland Committee seeks to promote civic and community unity by building mutual respect among diverse elements of the community and encouraging collaboration in addressing neighborhood problems. The Koshland awards are given annually to recognize outstanding Bay Area community leaders who are not only risk-takers but also social innovators working to build healthy and productive neighborhoods.

About The Koshland Civic Unity Award
The award commemorates Daniel E. Koshland, a founder of The San Francisco Foundation. As a businessman and philanthropist, he committed both his resources and his energy to making the Bay Area a better place to live. He was also the founder of San Francisco’s Council for Civic Unity, which sought to alleviate injustices and discrimination by bringing together influential private and public sector leaders to solve community problems.

Information from The San Francisco Foundation contributed to this post

Mission Housing Development Corporation | Koshland Awardees 2017

The 2017 Koshland Civic Unity Fellows (left to right): Nadia Conrad, Jon Jacobo, Diana Martinez, Sandra Sandoval, Marilyn Duran, Lorena Melgarejo, Lara Kiswani, Eric Cuentos, Celina Lucero, Chirag Bhakta, Marisela Esparza, Dairo Romero. Photo courtesy SF Foundation

2017 Daniel E. Koshland Civic Unity Fellows

Chirag Bhakta,
Community Engagement Coordinator, Mission Housing Development Corporation
Nadia Conrad,
Teen Programs Coordinator, Jamestown Community Center
Eric Cuentos,
Director of Parent Partner Program, Mission Graduates
Marilyn Duran,
Community Organizer, PODER
Marisela Esparza,
Program Manager, San Francisco Immigrant Legal & Education Network
Jon Jacobo,
Land Use Committee Member, Calle 24 Latino Cultural District
Lara Kiswani,
Executive Director, Arab Resource & Organizing Center
Celina Lucero,
Executive Director, Horizons
Lorena Melgarejo,
Coordinator of Parish Organizing, Archdiocese of San Francisco
Diana Martinez,
Mission SRO Collaborative Manager, Dolores Street Community Services
Dairo Romero,
Community Planning Manager, Mission Economic Development Agency
Sandra Sandoval,
Lifelong Missionera

Mission Housing exec joins SFHAC leadership

Sam Moss presents his qualifications during the SFHAC Executive Committee elections. Photo by Tony Bear!

Sam Moss becomes at-large member of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition Executive Committee

San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, also known as SFHAC, convened the annual meeting of its general membership on January 11, 2017.

Among the items on the agenda: Electing new several new faces to the organization’s governing body, the Executive Committee. Among the new members confirmed to a two year term on the committee: Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing Development Corporation.

“Sam adds an important additional affordable housing perspective to the issues we tackle,” said Todd David, Executive Director of SFHAC. “Sam has Mission Housing doing exemplary work, and we look forward to his contributions to our Executive Committee.”

Todd David, SFHAC

“Sam adds an important additional affordable housing perspective to the issues we tackle,” — Todd David, SFHAC.

The Executive Committee meets nine times during the year. As the governing body of SFHAC, the group helps with fundraising, strategic plan implementation and building new relationships to help spread the SFHAC pro-housing message. Executive Committee members engage in the Project Review, Regulatory and Ballot Analysis committees of SFHAC.

Other Executive Committee responsibilities: guiding the SFHAC engagement in political campaigns and ballot initiatives, advising on SFHAC’s two annual big fundraising events and general advocacy. The Executive Committee also steers how the organization weighs-in on local, regional and state policies.

Now, as an at-large member of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition Executive Committee, Moss will be active on the Regulatory and Ballot Analysis committees.

“SFHAC supports housing at all levels, so being elected to the Executive Committee is truly an honor,” said Moss. “I believe my background in affordable housing adds significant value to a typically more “market-rate” point-of-view. I want to make sure SFHAC advocates for affordable housing and community development, whenever possible.”

Also elected to the Executive Committee on January 11:

About San Francisco Housing Action Coalition

SFHAC is a membership nonprofit organization that advocates for the creation of well-designed housing for San Franciscans of all income levels. The SFHAC alliance of businesses, organizations and individuals facilitates collaboration on San Francisco housing issues. Members apply their expertise through work on three SFHAC committees: Regulatory, Project Review and Ballot Analysis. The Executive Committee of SFHAC sets policy for the organization.

SFHAC also sponsors many networking and informational events throughout the year. In 2016, Mission Housing co-hosted a SFHAC walking tour of the Mission District.

Information from sfhac.org contributed to this post

SF mayor names Mission Housing exec to Treasure Island policy board

Sam Moss is Executive Director of Mission Housing Development Corporation. He has served in various capacities with Mission Housing since 2008, and is active with several community-based organizations. Photo by Tony Bear!

Sam Moss joins Treasure Island Development Authority Board of Directors

Mayor Ed Lee has appointed Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing Development Corporation, to the Treasure Island Development Authority Board of Directors.

The Treasure Island Development Authority is a nonprofit organization formed to oversee the economic development of the San Francisco neighborhood at the northernmost area of District 6. The seven-member Board of Directors, appointed by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, is the de facto governing body of Treasure Island.

Mission Housing Development Corporation | Mayor Ed Lee, Sam Moss

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (right) with Mission Housing exec Sam Moss after the ceremony where Moss was sworn-in as a member of the Treasure Island Development Authority Board of Directors. Photo by Tony Bear!

Stewardship of a regional treasure

A nonprofit organization, the Treasure Island Development Authority was created to act as both the development agency and the trustee of the Tideland Trust for Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands. Charged with ensuring the island is used in an environmentally and economically viable way, the Treasure Island Development Authority Board of Directors create and manage the master development plan and make policy decisions critical to the future of the former naval station.

Board members also approve large contracts, and the authority’s annual budget. The full board meets on the second Wednesday of each month at San Francisco City Hall. The meetings are also carried on SFGov-TV.

“I’m honored to serve San Francisco, and look forward to providing an Affordable Housing- and Community Development-focused mindset to Treasure Island,” said Moss. “This is an amazing opportunity to ensure significant amounts of affordable housing are included not only physically but equitably as well.”

Naval Station Treasure Island

The artificial island in San Francisco Bay was used by the U.S. Government as a base of operations for the U. S. Navy from 1942 until being decommissioned in 1996. Navy operations ended there in 1997, although several federal agencies still maintain a presence on the island.

The City of San Francisco paid $108 million to acquire the property in 2007. Treasure Island is now open to the public and is home to more than 2,000 residents, commercial tenants, schools, athletic organizations and community organizations.

In 2011, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a redevelopment project on Treasure Island and parts of Yerba Buena Island, with a goal of creating a new San Francisco neighborhood.

The Treasure Island Project

Construction has begun on the Treasure Island Development, a 405-acre redevelopment project that is a joint venture between Lennar Corporation and Kenwood Investments. The partnership is now developing as many as 8,000 homes, some offered at below-market rates. Also part of the master plan: extensive open spaces, three hotels, and 240,000 square feet of restaurants, retail, entertainment venues and office space.

The Treasure Island Development Authority is overseeing the project, which could take fifteen years to complete.

Information from Wikipedia and sftreasureisland.org contributed to this post

Mission Housing adds more affordable housing professionals

Aditi Mahmud (left) has joined the Housing Development team at Mission Housing. Veronica Green re-joins the Mission Housing Resident Services team, this time as Community Associate Director at Valencia Gardens. Photos by Tony Bear!

Experienced Housing Development, Resident Services new hires important to new affordable housing construction, tenant case management

A new year brings more staff members to the Mission Housing Development Corporation employee roster.

Aditi Mahmud has joined the Housing Development team. As Project Manager, Mahmud will help locate and evaluate suitable sites for development. She will also be involved in getting government approvals and drumming up public support for new housing.

Additionally, Mahmud will manage project design, work on financing, and coordinate with attorneys, architects, general contractors and others.

A graduate of the UCLA Department of Urban Planning Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program, Mahmud was previously a project manager in Seattle, WA for Vitus Group, an affordable housing developer.

“The mission and vision of Mission Housing is a perfect fit with my passion for creating affordable housing,” said Mahmud. “Knowing that I can literally open doors for others makes this work very fulfilling.”

Full-time resident services, case management for Valencia Gardens tenants

Veronica Green rejoins the Mission Housing Resident Services team, this time as Community Associate Director. Green will oversee programs, interns and service providers at Valencia Gardens. She will also provide case management, and help residents access community resources and enrichment services.

Green returns to Mission Housing after working as a case manager and an activities director for Mercy Housing. Prior to that, she was at Mission Housing for four years, working at the senior housing sites as a Resident Services Coordinator, and then Resident Services Program Manager.

“I look forward to working with residents, staff and Mission District stakeholders to create a supportive community at Valencia Gardens,” said Green. “My focus will be on bringing programs that will enrich the lives of our residents.”

“These new hires will add to our capacity for building more affordable housing, and delivering more services to our residents,” said Marcía Contreras, Director of Operations and Resident Services at Mission Housing. “We look forward to Aditi and Veronica making outstanding contributions to our mission.”