Walking tour explores Mission affordable housing
“Building a Future for All: Housing Tour of the Mission” provides details, discussion about future of Mission affordable housing
Twenty-five people from a variety of backgrounds toured a slice of the Mission District on Saturday, June 11, 2016. Most were stakeholders — residents, business owners, and other interested parties — who wanted to learn about the initiatives underway to provide affordable housing in the neighborhood.
“Building a Future for All: Housing Tour of the Mission,” organized by San Francisco Housing Action Coalition and the Emerging Leaders Peer Network, gave a comprehensive look at how several built and planned developments are making more affordable housing stock available. Nonprofit, market-rate and city planning perspectives to address the housing crisis were explored.
The walking tour originated at the Valencia Gardens community room, where a continental breakfast sponsored by Cahill Contractors was served. Opening remarks were delivered by Rob Poole of San Francisco Housing Action Coalition. Then, Marcía Contreras and Martín Ugarte of Mission Housing Development Corporation gave an overview on how their residents are stabilized and empowered by Mission Housing services.
1950 Mission on the drawing board
David Baker Architects — the firm working on 1950 Mission — was represented by Sameena Sitabkhan, AIA. She presented and explained preliminary drawings of the design features. Then the tour took to the streets.
Market rate construction with affordable housing
First stop: one of the Mission’s newest developments – Vara Apartments, a stylish six-story residential community built in 2013. The building of 202 units features new studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. A percentage of these apartments are designated as Below Market Rate — also known as BMR — units. Jessie Herzog of AGI Avant, the developer, gave a brief presentation on the history of the complex. The tour included a look at the common areas along the entry way, and upstairs around the clubhouse and catering kitchen.
Next stop: the site where 1950 Mission will be built. The tour paused on Wiese Street, behind the Navigation Center which occupies the 1950 Mission site now. Here, Gaylord and Sitabkhan pointed out proposed features of the alley running behind 1950 Mission, and showed where the commercial and other spaces will be located.
2060 Folsom Street – bounded by open space
The tour continued down Shotwell Street and paused behind the site of 2060 Folsom Street, a 100-percent affordable housing complex to be built by Chinatown Community Development Center and Mission Economic Development Agency. Elaine Yee and Karoleen Feng of Mission Economic Development Agency, and Shannon Dodge of Chinatown Community Development Center discussed how the 101 apartments will be augmented by a new street park being built on the parcel bounded by 17th, Folsom and Shotwell Streets.