In the News

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.

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 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.