The City celebrated the grand opening of a 100% affordable housing project in the Mission at Avanza 490 at 490 South Van Ness Avenue. Located between 15th and 16th Streets, a block from the 16th Street BART station, the building consists of 80 permanently affordable apartments, 24 of which are set aside for Mission District residents, or residents who reside within a half-mile of the project per the City’s Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference.

The new apartments are affordable to households with incomes up to 30-60% AMI. Twenty units are set aside for public housing relocates from HOPE SF developments who have voluntarily relocated to the Mission.


“I am excited to celebrate the opening of 80 new 100% affordable housing units in the heart of the historic Mission District today,” said Mayor Breed. “It’s projects like this one that will help us reach our housing goals and make San Francisco a more affordable place to live. If we want our city to continue being the diverse place it is today, we must do a better job building housing for working families.”

Avanza 490 is the third of seven new 100% affordable housing developments in the Mission that are either already open, under construction, or will open in the next 18 months, following over a decade in which no new affordable housing was built in the neighborhood.

“Every successful affordable housing development in the Mission comes with a back-story of community advocacy,” said District Nine Supervisor, Hillary Ronen. “When this parcel was proposed for luxury development back in 2015, the community put its foot down and demanded that the City purchase it instead. My predecessor, David Campos, and I pushed for the funding that made that possible. As a result of that fruitful partnership between community and City Hall, we get to welcome low-income and working families into their new, forever-affordable homes. Congratulations to Mission Housing and BRIDGE for another great project and to the Mission community that never says no to affordable housing.”

Built with families in mind, amenities at Avanza 490 include a second-floor children’s playground, a spacious community room, and a communal laundry room. Located near BART and several Muni lines, this transit-oriented housing development will help advance the City’s climate goals by promoting the use of public transportation.

The development’s ground floor features a 636 square-foot commercial space, which will be programmed by a number of local non-profits on a rotating basis. A use agreement is currently being finalized with Associacion Mayab, who will provide initial programming in the space to serve the Maya-speaking community.

“Avanza 490 is a symbol of forward progress and hope for the Mission community,” said Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing. “Its history shows what happens when a neighborhood comes together and demands affordable housing. We’re extremely proud to play a part in bringing the community’s vision to life.”

“We’re honored to be part of the team that’s bringing transit-oriented, affordable homes for families and community services to a neighborhood that has seen so much displacement,” said Brad Wiblin, Executive Vice President of BRIDGE Housing.

The parcel at 490 South Van Ness Avenue once held a gas station. Following a community advocacy campaign, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) purchased the fully entitled and environmentally remediated site at 490 South Van Ness from the market rate developers and owners in late 2015 after former Mayor Ed Lee conducted a community walk along the South Van Ness corridor where City and community leaders identified the Avanza 490 property as an opportunity site.

In October 2016, MOHCD selected Mission Housing Development Corporation (MHDC) and BRIDGE Housing to develop, own, and operate the affordable housing development proposed for the site.

Major financing for Avanza 490 was provided by a $27.7 million investment for building construction from MOHCD that enabled the $60.4 million project to move forward. In addition to the City’s investment, the development was made possible by financing from the San Francisco Housing Authority (Project-Based Section 8 vouchers), Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barings, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

“Avanza 490 is a testament to the strong partnership between the City, Mayor Breed, and the Mission Community,” said Eric Shaw, MOHCD Director. “Investing in and creating high-quality, well-designed affordable homes for families with our partners is the model the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development is proud of, and will continue to prioritize.”

The 7-story building, designed by local architects, Ankrom Moisan Architects and G7A, includes studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments. Construction started in October 2018 and was completed in February 2021.

Avanza 490 now accepting applications

Avanza 490 is one step closer to having dozens of families call it “home.”

Some 18 months after breaking ground at 490 South Van Ness, the 100-percent affordable housing development is accepting applications from May 11 to June 8, 2020 for 60 affordable studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units — marking another huge milestone for partners Mission Housing and BRIDGE Housing.

“With the chaos going on in the world right now it’s important to remember the hard work the community has put in to get us to this point,” said Sam Moss, Executive Director at Mission Housing. “81 units of 100% affordable family housing ensuring that hundreds of people will have a safe, high-quality home at a time like this is what’s most important.”

Applications must be submitted online at using San Francisco DAHLIA Portal. For assistance, applicants are encouraged to contact one of the housing counseling agencies listed at All applicants are encouraged to apply. Income and other restrictions apply. Subsidies and vouchers are welcome.

[Visit AVANZA490.ORG for Income Requirements]

“We understand the need for affordable housing in San Francisco,” said Mission Housing Deputy Executive Director Marcia Contreras. “I am personally honored and thrilled to be able to present 81 units of affordable housing opportunities to our community in D-9 and throughout San Francisco that will include vital onsite services to all of our residents. We hope this brings hope to many of the families needing housing during these difficult times but most importantly, make sure you apply.”

Along with its 81 units, Avanza 490 will feature a community room with kitchen, a second floor courtyard, rooftop terrace, bike parking, on-site laundry, and professional on-site management.

Mission Housing will lead a consortium of community partners, in order to provide on-site supportive services. Another partner, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, will provide health and wellness programs and services for children, youth, adults, and families. People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights, otherwise known as PODER, will organize Avanza 490 residents around social issues, and provide leadership training.

The deadline to submit an application is June 8, 2020 at 5 p.m. The lottery for Avanza 490 will take place June 22, 2020.

For more information about Avanza 490, please visit

Units are monitored through the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development and are subject to monitoring and other restrictions. Preferences will be given in the following order:

1. Households in which one member holds a Certificate of Preference (COP) from the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency will be given the highest preference in the lottery ranking process.

2. Households in which one member holds a Displaced Tenant Housing Preference (DTHP) Certificate will be given the second highest preference in the lottery ranking process. DTHP applies up to 12 units.

3. Households applying with the Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference (NRHP) Program will be given the third highest preference in the lottery ranking process. NRHP applies up to 24 units at initial lease up.

4. Households that submit acceptable documentation that at least one member lives or works in San Francisco will be given the fourth highest preference in the lottery ranking process.

For further information or confirmation of preferences, please call Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development Certificate Hotline: 415.701.5613. Applicants in each preference category must meet program requirements in order to enter into a lease agreement.