In the News

Mission Housing celebrates International Women’s Day

By Marcia Contreras

Today, as we celebrate Women’s International Day, I reflect on the work that we do not only as professionals, but as daughters, sisters, and mothers as well. It is an amazing type of work we do to leave behind a legacy for the next generation to come.

Today, I celebrate and recognize my wonderful mother that took a huge risk leaving our country behind 30-plus years ago to offer us a better future! Her courage, her strengths and her values are what make me the person I am today.

Today, is also an important day because we raise our voices together to celebrate our accomplishments, our passion, and demonstrate that we make a difference in this world. We will continue to stand up even when others want us to be silent. We will continue to push the envelope, fight for our rights and defend our future not only for ourselves but for those that will come behind us.

At Mission Housing, I personally have the privilege of working with some amazing women that make a difference on a daily basis with the work they do. I would like to recognize the following team members who support our organization daily effortlessly: Marizza Bautista-Ong, Ana Torres, Diana Walcott, Gail McGuire, Bulbul Goswami, Bhanu Patel, Veronica Green, Shanita Gardner, Erin Reeves, Sully Argueta, Janina Navarro, Ellie Barrios and Kate Ouyang.

– Marcia Contreras is the Deputy Executive Director at Mission Housing Development Corporation

This article was originally posted on March 8, 2019.

Mission Housing makes good on Mayor Breed’s Executive Directive; announces construction of 4 new ADUs

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced that in the six months since she issued an Executive Directive to accelerate the approvals of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also known as in-law units, the City has cleared its application backlog. As a result of this action, the City permitted more in-law units than it did in the previous three years when the City’s in-law program was first launched.

The Executive Directive Mayor Breed issued at the end of August called for the backlog of 919 units waiting for approval to be cleared and for all new applications to acted on within four months. It also called on City departments to set clear, objective code standards, and work to improve the application process for people looking to build in-law units. Since then, 439 of the backlogged in-law units have been permitted, over 90% of which are subject to rent-control, and the rest of the applications have been reviewed by the relevant departments and are awaiting responses from the applicants.

“We have made good progress to get this housing approved faster, and we will continue to work to encourage applicants to come forward to build new in-law units,” said Mayor London Breed. “This is just a first step. I will not let our bureaucracy stand in the way of building more housing, especially new rent-controlled housing, because we need more places for people to live in San Francisco. Whether it’s streamlining the approval process or eliminating permitting fees, we can and will do more to get more housing built in our neighborhoods.”

Since 2014, the City departments involved in permitting housing did not have clear and consistent standards on what is needed to add new ADU units to existing single family homes and apartment buildings. Instead, departments preferred to handle these complex applications on a case-by-case basis, resulting in unnecessarily long review periods, inconsistencies in direction to project applicants, and a large backlog of permit applications.

Since the Executive Directive was issued, the City has received applications for 206 new units, all of which were reviewed within the four-month timeframe. Of those new applications, 18 units have so far been approved, while the remainder have been reviewed and are awaiting responses from the applicants. Mayor Breed made the announcement today at a Mission Housing Development Corp. property where new in-law units are planned to be created from former garages.

“Mission Housing is excited to lead the charge for the Affordable Housing Community as we increase our affordable housing stock by what could be hundreds of new units converted from our existing Garages,” said Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing. “During times such as these, in the midst of this housing shortage crisis, it’s important that every neighborhood prioritizes new housing, and thanks to Mayor Breed’s leadership we’re one step closer to solving the housing crisis. Mission Housing Development Corp. is in the business of housing San Francisco’s low income community not its cars.”

As part of the Mayor’s acceleration effort, several process improvements were made by the City departments involved in issuing permit approvals. A streamlined “roundtable” review process was introduced where multiple reviewing departments, including the Planning Department, Department of Building Inspection (DBI), Fire Department, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the Department of Public Works came together concurrently to review applications. This improvement allowed all agencies to issue comments or requests for plan revisions to ADU applicants all at once, instead of the former linear process.

Efforts to clarify and expedite the application process have benefited from the addition of public services and documents now available to applicants, including:

  • Optional meetings before filing with the Planning, Building, and Fire Departments, allowing for early multi-agency collaboration and identification of red flags;
  • Public information sessions on ADUs for design professionals and homeowners;
  • Dedicated department staff to provide informative and consistent advice to applicants;
  • Both new and updated public information documents, including a first-ever multi-agency“ADU Checklist” to outline all requirements and submittal guidelines for each agency;
  • An updated “ADU Handbook” to reflect legislative updates and requirements for permitting.The Mayor recently introduced legislation to eliminate DBI permitting fees for ADUs and 100% affordable housing projects. Permitting fees are a significant part of ADU project costs and fees on 100% affordable housing can range upwards of $100,000-$150,000 per project.”We are happy to see Mayor Breed and Mission Housing continue to find ways to increase affordable housing opportunities,” said Dora Orante on behalf of the tenants at Abel Gonzales. “We’re also grateful for the creative ways housing can be designed to help others live in one of these units.”

    Further information about the City of San Francisco’s Accessory Dwelling Unit program is available online at sfdbi.org/adu.

Mission Housing partners with Sunday Streets; Will host “Play Streets” in front of Valencia Gardens

San Francisco – On March 10, Livable City kicks off a season of open streets with Sunday Streets Mission, transforming the Valencia corridor from 26th Street to Duboce into a car-free temporary park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In partnership with Mission Housing Development Corporation, join Mayor London Breed for a pop-up Play Streets in front of the Valencia Gardens complex, bringing a dedicated block of free activities, games and music for children, residents and neighbors to enjoy and re-envision their streets as accessible, public spaces.

“It’s important for Mission Housing to help create a safe space for residents to enjoy, meet their neighbors, and come together as a community,” said Mission Housing Deputy Executive Director Márcia Contreras. “With our partnership with Sunday Streets and Play Streets, we hope to create awareness that this space is for everyone.”

Inspired by the Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia, Sunday Streets is a series of free, fun events empowering local communities to transform one to four miles of car-congested streets into car-free community spaces for kids to play, seniors to stroll, organizations to connect and neighbors to meet. 

“An essential ingredient to any successful community is the opportunity to connect and fun,” said The Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) Director Daniel Homsey. “A pop-up space in front of a housing development gives residents that opportunity.”

Nonprofit Livable City runs both Sunday Streets and Play Streets, a program empowering neighbors to transform their block into an accessible, car-free open space on a regular basis for children, seniors, and neighbors to enjoy. Both programs are sponsored by the SFMTA and other City agencies, and Sunday Streets would not be possible without crucial services like Muni bus re-routing or traffic control officers for public safety.

Project experts from SFMTA and Vision Zero will be on hand throughout the season, providing neighborhood residents and visitors direct access to transit planners and ambassadors dedicated to sustainable streets.

Small businesses, residents, nonprofits and local groups bring activities, volunteers and performances to the car-free routes, with each contributing a distinctive character and energy to the day. A local hire program employs San Francisco residents for outreach and event-day support.

Transforming miles of car-dominated City streets into open space is possible through the collaboration and hard work of hundreds of volunteers, neighbors, nonprofits and small businesses. Donate, exhibit, volunteer or sponsor Sunday Streets in 2019 to be part of a sustainable, greener and more accessible future. For more information, visit www.SundayStreetsSF.com.

Sunday Streets 2019 Season Schedule

March 10 – Mission 1

March 31 – Excelsior 1

April 14 – Tenderloin 1

May 5 – Bayview/Dogpatch

June 9 – Sunset/GGP

July 14 – Mission 2

August 18 – SoMa

September 8 – Tenderloin 2

September 22 – Western Addition

October 20 – Excelsior 2

The Sunday Streets 2019 season is made possible by the following season sponsors: Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), San Francisco Department of Children, Youth & Their Families (DCYF), Mission Housing Development Corporation, San Francisco Department of Public Works (SFPUC), Genentech, Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), Sutter/CPMC, Golden State Warriors, iHeartMedia, Skip, Sutter/CPMC, Xfinity/Comcast and Bi-Rite

About Sunday Streets

Sunday Streets is a program of the nonprofit Livable City, presented in partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the Shape Up SF Coalition. Additional City support comes from the Department of Public Works, Recreation & Parks Department, SF Police Department, SF County Transportation Authority, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and her offices and the SF Board of Supervisors.

About Livable City

Livable City is dedicated to increasing affordable housing, improving transportation, land use, open space, and environmental policies, and supporting grassroots initiatives to make San Francisco a safer, healthier, and more accessible city. For more information on Livable City, visit: http://www.livablecity.org. For more information about Sunday Streets, including the Sunday Streets event activity guide, visit: www.SundayStreetsSF.com. For information on Muni routes and vehicle access, call 511 or go to www.sfgov.org/311.

RSVP for the event on Facebook, here