In the News: Planning Commission Approves Safe Parking Site at Balboa Upper Yard

The San Francisco Planning Commission on Thursday unanimously approved plans for a temporary vehicle triage center that would provide a safe parking space for people who live in their vehicles.

According to the plan, the center would be located at 2340 San Jose Ave., the future site of Balboa Upper Yards, a 138-unit affordable housing complex developed by Mission Housing Development Corporation. Construction on the complex won’t start until October 2020, so the space would only serve as a temporary spot.

“We’re proud at Mission Housing to continue our tradition of leading with bold ideas to battle our housing shortage crisis,” said Sam Moss, Executive Director at the nonprofit.

The pilot program would provide space for 33 vehicles, allow people to park long-term and camp in their vehicles overnight, and offer amenities like restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a kitchen and eating areas.

“Connecting families to services and supporting them during difficult times should be our direct response to the needs of our community,” said Mission Housing’s Deputy Executive Director, Marcia Contreras. “It’s a fundamental act of human compassion and kindness. Mission Housing believes strongly in supporting our families in need and connecting them to resources.”

Residents would be allowed to stay for up to 90 days, and after that their stay could be extended at the director’s discretion.

The space would also be equipped with security and office space to provide onsite services for those living in their vehicles.

Read more about it from Bay City News here.

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 partner “Manny’s” to host United Democratic Club

Who says you can’t have fun and make a difference at the same time?

On Friday, Dec. 7 Manny Yekutiel and Manny’s play host to the United Democratic Club and its annual holiday party. For Yekutiel, it’s another step in line with his establishment’s purpose and mission.

“We’re lucky to be hosting multiple democratic organizations including Indivisible SF, the San Francisco Democratic Party, the Alice B Toklas Democratic Party, and the United Democratic Party all in our first few weeks,” Yekutiel said. “It is extremely difficult to find central and affordable space in San Francisco if you are a civic organization without a large events budget. Manny’s was built with this very purpose in mind and I’m honored to have the United Democratic Club with us on Friday.”

Manny’s opened earlier this Fall on the ground floor of Mission Housing’s Maria Alicia Apartments.

“One thing about the affordable housing industry that gets lost in translation is how important our ground-floor spaces are, and should be, to serving the surrounding community’s needs,” said Mission Housing Executive Director Sam Moss. “We chose to partner with Manny’s because we believe that the spot on 16thand Valencia should be a hub for empowerment so we are thrilled that Manny’s has hit the ground running and remains true to the spirit of our partnership with them.”

“We are living in a time where folks are hungry for real in person interaction, especially as it relates to how we are engaging with our civic life,” Yekutiel said. “Manny’s was built in response to that hunger and aims to create that space in a way that is accessible to folks across the many spectrums in this City.”

This year’s party supports Ignite National, a nonprofit that empowers young women to get involved in politics and serves as a movement of young women who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders.

“It’s a fabulous organization doing incredible work.” Yekutiel said, “and I actually know some incredible women being supported by their programs who will be there on Friday.”

GALLERY: Mission Housing breaks ground at 490 South Van Ness

By now the world is aware that Mission Housing and its partners broke ground at 490 South Van Ness in San Francisco with a block party attended by hundreds of their closest friends. 

Below is an album of some of the day’s festivities. Make sure to check out the entire album across our social media channels — you can access it by clicking hereand share with you friends!

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”34″ display=”basic_thumbnail”]