Tour highlights affordable housing neighborhood benefits

Execs from Mission Housing and BRIDGE Housing lead a motorized cable car tour of several San Francisco affordable housing sites. Photo by Tony Bear!

Motorized cable car transports tour group around SF affordable housing sites

Saturday, June 23rd, several people learned first-hand how affordable housing changes neighborhoods, and lives, for the better.

The 20-mile, round-trip, guided tour gave a group of neighbors from the Balboa Reservoir area a first-hand view of the role nonprofit developers play in building, preserving and managing the affordable housing stock of San Francisco.

Moderated by Sam Moss, Mission Housing Development Corporation Executive Director and Kearstin Dischinger, BRIDGE Housing Project Manager and Policy Planner, the tour visited several BRIDGE Housing and Mission Housing properties located throughout San Francisco. Some stops included a brief walking mini-tour. The tour also visited the sites of future Mission Housing developments.

“We are very thankful so many ‘housing secure’ people invested time into learning more about how affordable housing works, who lives in these affordable homes, and the importance of the work we do” said Moss. “The interest and engagement demonstrated was very encouraging, and makes me hopeful that more and more people will advocate to make housing legal, everywhere.”

Tour participants got an in-depth understanding of the successes and challenges facing the San Francisco affordable housing industry. The tour provided a clear understanding what it takes to shelter, stabilize and empower thousands of the most vulnerable San Francisco residents.

“The folks that came along felt they learned a lot and appreciated being able to go in and walk around the developments. They were impressed,” said Rick Williams, of Van Meter Williams Pollack LLP. Williams’ architecture firm designed several of the buildings included in the tour. Williams explained how each of the buildings were designed to fit-in well and add to the quality-of-life and character of their neighborhoods, while providing high-value infrastructure, and quality long-term homes for the residents.

The tour began, and ended, at the Balboa Reservoir, a site owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission that is adjacent to City College of San Francisco. The Balboa Reservoir is being developed into mixed-income housing, open space and community amenities. Mission Housing and BRIDGE Housing are two of the nonprofit developers who, along with Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco, will build an estimated 550 units of 100 percent affordable housing on the site.

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Mission Housing acquires historic South Park property, the Gran Oriente Hotel

The Gran Oriente Filipino Hotel preserved as 100% affordable housing stock; one of three South Park properties to be rehabilitated

Mission Housing Development Corporation today announced another residential hotel has been added to its South Park portfolio.

The Gran Oriente Filipino Hotel, at 104-106 South Park Street [MAP], is one of the earliest Filipino-owned buildings in the South of Market area of San Francisco. Built in 1907, the Gran Oriente Hotel was acquired by Filipino seamen of the Wor Rizal Lodge #12 Of The Gran Oriente Filipino Masonic fraternity, in the 1920s, for $6,000. The organization owns two other buildings on South Park: a lodge, and a small apartment complex.

The properties are regarded as important assets for the Filipino Cultural Heritage District.

The Gran Oriente is one of three residential hotels in the South Park Historic District. Residential hotels are also known as single-room occupancy hotels, or SROs.

As South of Market property values skyrocketed over the years, the fraternal organization received numerous unsolicited, speculative purchase offers for the Gran Oriente Hotel. Community leaders wondered just how long the building could avoid being “gentrified” — sold on the private market, the units rehabbed and then leased at high rents.

When South of Market community leaders learned of a potential Gran Oriente sale, they began to consider how to keep ownership of the property in community hands, so its affordability would be positioned to survive in perpetuity.

Filipino community members asked San Francisco District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim to facilitate a solution. She connected the organizers and Mission Housing. Supervisor Kim believed Mission Housing — as a nonprofit, community-based affordable housing organization already operating in South Park — was well-qualified to strengthen and ensure the Gran Oriente is protected as permanent affordable housing for future generations.

“The Gran Oriente Hotel is a significant building to the Filipino community in San Francisco and for the South Park neighborhood,” said Supervisor Kim. “It also provides 24 SRO units which provide critical affordable housing for the community.”

“I am honored to have worked with SoMa Pilipinas and Mission Housing over the last two years to facilitate its purchase through the Small Sites Program and ensure it remains a community-owned site.”

In meetings between the leadership of the Filipino Community Development Corporation, the Filipino-American Development Foundation, SOMA Pilipinas, the SOMA Stabilization Fund Community Advisory Committee and Mission Housing representatives, ideas were shared about how to honor the Filipino legacy of the building, and find a current and future co-ownership structure that involves the Filipino community.

The outcome: a Filipino organization will own or co-own the Gran Oriente by 2025.

Until then, Mission Housing will be working with community members on rehabilitating the site, ensuring that all existing tenants remain, and utilizing the site for future community activism and support.

“Mission Housing is proud to partner with the Filipino community to ensure that the Gran Oriente Hotel remains in community hands,” said Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing. “We will be working with the community to provide tenant education, organizing, and programming of the Gran Oriente as a historic and cultural asset.”

“Leaders from the community, such as the late Steve Arevalo, made certain the Gran Oriente will continue to play a vital role as part of the Filipino Cultural Heritage District of San Francisco.”

Welcome to the Mission Housing South Park family

Mission Housing acquired and rehabbed the other two South Park SROs — The Park View and Hotel Madrid — in 1987. Both provide permanent housing for formerly homeless, special needs, and very low-income adults. Since the renovation, Mission Housing has operated on-site supportive Resident Services programs at both locations.

Adding Gran Oriente’s 24 units to the mix creates efficiencies in overall cash flow, operations and services offered to residents. Which means, soon, the people living at the Gran Oriente will be able to access the same Resident Services provided to other Mission Housing South Park residents.

“Our Resident Services team will be making contact with current Gran Oriente tenants, to learn their needs, so we can make informed decisions about which services will help their quality of life,” said Márcia Contreras, Deputy Executive Director of Mission Housing, and head of the organization’s Resident Services department.

Financing the transaction

Funds for the $4.5 million acquisition and subsequent rehabilitation are being provided by The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and its South of Market Community Stabilization Fund.

Ownership change spurs preservation effort

Monies from The SOMA Stabilization Fund, and the City’s Small Sites Program, will also pay for an extensive rehab of the Gran Oriente, to include updating mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural features such as the roof; replacing appliances and finishes; adding ADA-accessible units and an interior courtyard; and, bringing the building up to city standards for light, air, fire safety, and egress.

Also included, a moderate rehab for The Park View and Hotel Madrid, which means a total of 106 units of South Park affordable housing will be preserved. Construction should start in late 2019, and finish in April, 2021.

Following the completion of the Gran Oriente’s full rehab, Mission Housing will work with the City Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Commission and SOMA Pilipinas to have the Gran Oriente designated a historic site.

Wiener names Mission Housing 2018 Nonprofit of the Year

Senator Scott Wiener (2nd from right) is pictured with Mission Housing executives (left to right) Michael Chao, Márcia Contreras, Sam Moss and Robert Goldman as they receive the resolution naming the organization 2018 Nonprofit of the Year representing the 11th Senatorial District. Photo by Tony Bear!

Senator Scott Wiener designates Mission Housing Development Corporation to represent 11th Senatorial District at third annual California Nonprofits Day at the California State Capitol, June 6

Executives from Mission Housing Development Corporation traveled to Sacramento, CA on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, to be recognized on the senate floor by state Senator Scott Wiener. The recognition highlighted the organization’s long history of community support, and providing invaluable services to the people of the local area.

“WHEREAS, The relationship between a community and its nonprofit organizations is a vital and interdependent one, deriving its strength from the civic involvement and dedication of those who engage with such organizations, the many positive outcomes these organizations make possible, and the spirit of cooperation and respect they foster within the community, and Mission Housing Development Corporation is one such stellar nonprofit organization,” said Senator Wiener, in his proclamation.

The recognition was part of a luncheon sponsored and organized by the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), a statewide “chamber of commerce” for nonprofits. The annual event honors nonprofit community champions and displays the breadth and impact of California’s nonprofit sector. This year, the Masonic Temple of Sacramento was the venue, where the leaders of ninety-seven organizations gathered to be recognized as Nonprofits of the Year by their senators and assembly members.

“We are very grateful to Senator Wiener and his staff for recognizing Mission Housing,” said Sam Moss, Executive Director of the organization. “Our Resident Services team puts a ton of hard work and dedication into making certain the people who live in and near our buildings have access to the resources they need to survive and thrive.”

“Mission Housing is very proud of the partnerships we’ve cultivated with a variety organizations and agencies around San Francisco,’ said Márcia Contreras, Deputy Executive Director of the organization. “Through our partnerships we are able to greatly impact the quality of life for our community residents, and for our neighborhoods.”

The full text of Sen. Wiener’s proclamation can be found below.

California Senate RESOLUTION

By the Honorable Scott D. Wiener, 11th Senatorial District;

Relative to Commending

Mission Housing Development Corporation

WHEREAS, On June 6, 2018, the California Association of Nonprofits will host the third annual California Nonprofits Day at the California State Capitol, and at that time, Mission Housing Development Corporation will be honored as the 11th Senatorial District’s 2018 Nonprofit of the Year in recognition of its long-standing support of the community, and upon this occasion, Mission Housing Development Corporation is deserving of special public recognition; and
WHEREAS, The relationship between a community and its nonprofit organizations is a vital and interdependent one, deriving its strength from the civic involvement and dedication of those who engage with such organizations, the many positive outcomes these organizations make possible, and the spirit of cooperation and respect they foster within the community, and Mission Housing Development Corporation is one such stellar nonprofit organization; and
WHEREAS, Since 1971, Mission Housing Development Corporation has been committed to providing high quality, well-managed, affordable, and sustainable housing for low and moderate income families, seniors, and persons with diverse needs in San Francisco; and
WHEREAS, Serving more than 3,000 residents in its portfolio of 44 owned or managed buildings, Mission Housing Development Corporation provides residents access to the best social service programs available through partnerships with leading nonprofit organizations and offers technical assistance to service providers to help them develop affordable housing that meets the needs of the populations they serve such as the physically or mentally disabled and the critically ill; and
WHEREAS, Respecting and building community with its residents and staff, Mission Housing Development Corporation offers tenant-centered resident services born through community input and tailored to address the needs of each housing development and each individual, including health screenings, social services, a computer learning center housing stabilization and referrals services, nutrition, behavioral health, and academic enrichment, to name just a few of its services; and
WHEREAS, In addition to one-on-one, in-house case management, the Mission Housing Development Corporation’s Resident Services Coordinators assess daily how to best deliver no-cost, voluntary on-site quality of life enhancements to tenants, providing a vibrant, safe, and affordable way of living, as demonstrated through its translation assistance, crisis de-escalation and resolution, financial education, workforce development, resident leadership development and community engagement, and social and recreational activities; and
WHEREAS, By contributing to the success and sustainability of the community in which it serves, Mission Housing Development Corporation enhances the quality of life for community residents and instills a great sense of pride in the individuals who are associated with it; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED BY SENATOR SCOTT D. WIENER, That he takes great pleasure in congratulating Mission Housing Development Corporation on its selection as the 11th Senatorial District’s 2018 Nonprofit of the Year, commends It for providing invaluable services to the people of the local area, and applauds it for its long history of community support.
Member Resolution No. 502 | Dated this 6th day of June, 2018.