Valencia Gardens welcomes new Community Technology Associate

Residents of Valencia Gardens looking to take advantage of the computer lab now have a new leader to help with their needs.

Valencia Gardens, in partnership with <dev/Mission>, welcomed Jocelyne Umanzor to the team as the new Community Technology Associate. In her new role, Umanzor will oversees technical support for VG’s computer lab.

“They’ll always be greeted with a smile,” Umanzor said about what residents should expect. “Just being able to be friendly with [the residents] I know it’ll set a comfortable environment for them.”

Umanzor is a child of the Mission who graduated from the <dev/Mission> program as part of the December 2018 cohort. She said that while she had no initial interest of joining the program, which is currently incubated at Mission Housing’s site, an epiphany led her to pursue an undiscovered passion.

“I just realized, maybe I should take advantage of the opportunities that people come all over the east coast or wherever it is, take take opportunities here — maybe I should too,” Umanzor said. “And just take a shot at it. I wasn’t going to have anything to lose. And I did it. And now I work at Valencia Gardens.”

“We are thrilled to see Jocelyne not only graduate from the <dev/Mission> program but to see her collaborate with our onsite services team and provide support to our residents at Valencia Gardens,” said Marcia Contreras, Deputy Executive Director at Mission Housing. “We welcome her to our community.”

Umanzor’s responsibilities will include helping residents with: WiFi connectivity issues, virus protection software, social media account set-up, build their own websites and most tech-related issues.

“It was actually something I always imagined myself doing,” Umanzor said. “The thought of being a part of dev/Mission, it’s what kept me motivated to be in tech — to some way, some how, give back to the community because this is where I grew up, this is my home. And you know, a lot of it is changing and some of it is not good. And just seeing Leo [Sosa, Executive Director of <dev/Mission>] being that small, but very large, organization that helps out the community is something that I wanted to be a part of.”

The 21-year-old is another success story out of the<dev/Mission> camp. Her hours at the office are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“You feel like you belong,” Umanzor said of the program. “(They) have this banner that says “You belong here” and I feel like I really belong somewhere so I want to continue to be a part of it — behind the scenes, giving back to the community. Even if it’s helping a resident to print a paper or use a laptop, I’m still giving back in some sort of way.

“A lot of the times I would come across, that there aren’t a lot of women in tech so I felt proud and blessed that I was able to be in program and be one of the only females and learning about the new stuff that I didn’t know took place behind the scenes in tech. And I got to be a part of it and I got to learn from scratch,” she said.

Mayor appoints Sam Moss Building Inspection commissioner

San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell (left) administers the oath of office to Sam Moss (center), Executive Director of Mission Housing Development Corporation, and other citizens who are volunteering on City and County of San Francisco oversight boards and commissions. Photo by Tony Bear!

May 14 swearing-in ceremony adds Mission Housing exec to SF Department of Building Inspection oversight panel

San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell has appointed Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing Development Corporation, to the Building Inspection Commission.

The seven citizens who serve on the Building Inspection Commission, or BIC, oversee the effective, efficient, fair and safe enforcement of City and County of San Francisco building, housing, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical codes, along with the Disabled Access Requirements. These codes and regulations are implemented by the Department of Building Inspection, also known as DBI, or, the Building Department.

The Building Inspection Commission provides policy direction to DBI, and also represents the various communities and industries which interact with BDI, while providing a public forum for community involvement in the agency’s work.

Moss will represent the affordable housing industry.

“The Building Inspection Commission oversees just about every facet of post-entitlement processes and issues associated with building and rehab in San Francisco,” said Moss. Moss: “It is an honor, and very exciting, to be a part of a Commission that can help bring new affordable housing online more efficiently, while also ensuring our existing housing stock is up to code and safety regulations.”

Information from sfdbi.org contributed to this post


About the Department of Building Inspection
The Department of Building Inspection was created by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. The charter amendment established the body known as the Building Inspection Commission (BIC) which was designed to provide representation for the various communities which interact with the Building Department. Read more about DBI HERE.

Mission Housing Development Corporation | San Francisco commissioners

In this May 14, 2018 photo, San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell (center) is shown with the citizens who are volunteering on City and County of San Francisco oversight boards and commissions. Photo by Tony Bear!

Michael Chao becomes Mission Housing Director of Housing Development

Chao promotion comes as organization ramps-up focus on building affordable housing, acquiring sites

Friday, March 30, 2018, Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing Development Corporation, announced the promotion of Michael Chao to the position of Director of Housing Development for the organization.

Chao has been Senior Project Developer at Mission Housing since 2014. He has led the efforts of the Housing Development team, which has added more than 1,000 units of new 100 percent affordable housing to the Mission Housing pipeline.

Under Chao’s leadership, Mission Housing has rehabilitated several hundred units of existing affordable housing, and will soon close on the acquisition of The Grand Oriente, a single room occupancy, residential hotel in the South of Market neighborhood of South Park. The multi-million dollar, 18-month rehab of The Grand Oriente is expected to begin in 2019.

The numerous industry partnerships Chao has created while leading the Housing Development team have played a major role in returning Mission Housing to its real estate development roots.

“Michael Chao is the driving force behind Mission Housing solidifying its role as a leader in community-based affordable housing development,” said Moss. “His strong background in affordable housing finance, experience in renovating multi-unit properties, and his commitment to our mission make him the perfect person to lead our development efforts far into the foreseeable future.”

With the promotion of Chao to Director of Housing Development, Mission Housing is investing in the continued growth of current staff into leadership positions.

“The most satisfying part of my job is making a positive impact and contributing to the history of Mission Housing, while helping to build an affordable San Francisco,” said Chao. “I’m proud to have been part of Mission Housing as we find new footing, grow, and reinvent the organization in a responsible way.”

Prior to joining Mission Housing, Chao, a Bay Area native, had been responsible for overseeing housing development at several local nonprofits, including at Community Housing Partnership from 2008 to 2014.

Márcia Contreras named Mission Housing Deputy Executive Director

New executive leadership role brings focus, opportunity to organization; promotion opens up Director of Resident Services position

March 27, 2018, the Mission Housing Development Corporation Board of Directors unanimously approved the promotion of Márcia Contreras to the position of Deputy Executive Director of the organization.

Since 2015, Contreras has served in a dual role as Director of Operations and Resident Services, where she was the driving force behind the growth of the Mission Housing team from eight people to 25, and the expansion of supportive services partnerships to include numerous human services agencies. Under Contreras’ direction, Mission Housing fundraising efforts since 2015 have brought in several hundred-thousand dollars, via donations and grants. Her work at re-connecting Mission Housing to grassroots community organizations has helped solidify relationships throughout the Mission District and San Francisco.

Contreras also played a pivotal role supporting the Mission Housing efforts to win development rights for building more new, 100 percent affordable apartments.

Now, as Deputy Executive Director, she will oversee the operational and administrative functions of Mission Housing, while providing the leadership needed to advance the organization’s housing and community development goals.

“Márcia has done an excellent job in various management roles with Mission Housing since 2009, and is the best person to work with me in developing and implementing our overall vision and strategy going forward,” said Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing. “Now, she will be directly involved in, and focused on, aligning our programs and strategies, building policy, and furthering our professional relationships throughout San Francisco.”

In addition to supervising directors, staff, and programs, Contreras will serve as the acting Executive Director, in cases when Moss is unavailable.

“This is a tremendous honor and a privilege. Mission Housing is a fantastic workplace, and a community asset. Supporting our mission has become my passion,” said Contreras. “I look forward to helping Sam and our board with continuing to deliver quality programs and facilities to our residents, and collaborating with our service partners to further develop how Mission Housing serves the San Francisco community.”

Contreras’ transition to the Deputy Executive Director role leaves vacant the Director of Resident Services position at Mission Housing. Applications are being accepted for the job, with the goal of filling the position immediately.