In the News: Balboa Reservoir development wins S.F. Planning Commission approval

From the San Francisco Business Times
By Laura Waxmann

More than five years of community planning to redevelop a 17.6-acre swath of land west of the City College of San Francisco’s Ocean campus came to a head on Thursday when a proposal for a 1,100 unit residential project on a portion of the Balboa Reservoir received its first significant approval.

With an unanimous vote, the San Francisco Planning Commission certified a final environmental impact report for the project and green-lit a development agreement with master developers Reservoir Community Partners, LLC.  The plan is to break ground in late 2021 or early 2022.

“I’m really persuaded by the unique opportunity of the site,” said Commissioner Sue Diamond. “It is rare to have this sized piece of land on the west side of the city that allows for the amount of master planning that has gone into creating an entire neighborhood.”

Read the entire San Francisco Business Times article here

Read the San Francisco Examiner’s article here

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 housing.sfgov.org using San Francisco DAHLIA Portal. For assistance, applicants are encouraged to contact one of the housing counseling agencies listed at housing.sfgov.org/housing-counselors. 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 Avanza490.org.

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.

Justice4Amilcar Mural unveiled at Mission Housing site

More than four years after tragedy struck in the Mission, the people of the community can now take another step in their healing process.

The Justice4Amilcar Mural, “Alto al Fuego en La Misón” located at 3250 24th Street was unveiled Sunday morning. The mural is the largest in the Latino Cultural Corridor in a decade.

“It’s been an honor to partner with the community to support something that will hopefully bring us all together to heal,” said Mission Housing executive director Sam Moss. “This incredible work of art was created to celebrate the life and impact of Amilcar and Mission Housing is truly honored to be a part of it all.”

RELATED: Listen to the San Francisco inFlux podcast and their interview with the Justice4Amilcar Mural artists on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play or Podbean

The mural is dedicated to Amilcar Perez-Lopez, who was shot and killed by officers from the San Francisco Police Department on February 26th, 2015. For just under five years, Perez-Lopez’s death has elicited widespread protests throughout the city and media attention throughout the world. While charges were not filed against the officers responsible, Perez-Lopez’s family in Guatemala, and the Mission community where he lived and died, refuse to forget him and others lost to police violence.

“We’ve always believed that our buildings are part of the fabric of our community and a canvas in which our community can express their voices,” said Marcia Contreras, Deputy Executive Director at Mission Housing. “As such, it is their voice that matters the most.”

The mural portrays Perez-Lopez, his family demanding justice, and the other community members recently killed by SFPD: Mario Woods, Alex Nieto, Luis Gongora Pat, and Jesus Adolfo Delgado. The mural also depicts immigrants and migrants killed along the United States’ southern border: Roxana Hernandez, Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez, and Oscar and Valeria Martinez.

“This mural not only remembers the tragedy and trauma of these police killings, but also the hope and resilience of the community that refuses to forget them,” said Father Richard Smith, one of the mural’s chief organizers. “It represents the ongoing struggle to purge SFPD of its decades-long racism, brutality, and corruption. Too many young people of color have been needlessly killed, too many moms and dads still remain in tears. May this mural both honor their deceased loved ones and be a prayer not only of lamentation but also for their healing and hope.”

Located on the new offices of the Calle24 Latino Cultural District, the mural is latest in improvements at one of Mission Housing’s scattered sites — work that began in 2017.

“Alto al Fuego en la Mision” supported by Mission Housing Development Corporation, Mission Night Walks, and organized by Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth (HOMEY). The mural was funded by Mission Housing, the San Francisco Foundation Rapid Response Fund, CHALK, and many generous community donations through fiscal sponsors Saint John’s Episcopal Church, HOMEY, and Fr. Richard Smith.

The mural was designed and directed in community and collaboration by Carla Elana Wojczuk with, HOMEY, Justice4Amilcar Coalition, Mission community, Lucía González Ippolito, and assisted by Flavia Elisa Mora; Lead Muralists: Carla Elana Wojczuk, Lucía González Ippolito, Cristian Muńoz, Anna Lisa Escobedo, Adrianna Adams, Flavia Elisa Mora (painting and poetry), Pancho Pescador; lettering: Sonia G Molina.

Mission Housing brings home 2019 Livability Award

Mission housing or housing on a mission? How about a little bit of both.

On Sunday at the 2019 Livability Summit, presented by Livable City, Mission Housing Development Corporation was awarded the Community Leader in Action Award for its work on the 18th Street ADU Garage Conversion Project. 

“We’re honored to receive this award,” said Mission Housing Executive Director Sam Moss. “I’ve long said San Francisco needs to focus less on housing cars and more on housing people. We’re working to do just that with projects like the one on 18th Street.”

Moss accepted the award alongside Deputy Executive Director Marcia Contreras. Also named on the award is John Barber, Mission Housing’s Construction Management Consultant. 

Part of Mayor London Breed’s Executive Directive to accelerate the approvals of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also known as in-law units, Mission Housing’s 18th Street ADU Garage Conversion Project is modeling a way to create new, rent-controlled housing out of dormant garage space that is accessible to seniors, people with disabilities and low-income residents.

Taking place during Sunday Streets Mission at The Chapel on Valencia Street, the 2019 Livability Summit & Awards Brunch was a chance to see Sunday Streets from the inside-out, socialize, savor a cocktail, experience thought-provoking discussions, and enjoy one-plus miles of car-free fun, all in the same day.

Other awardees included: Chan Kaajal Community Garden — a part of the city’s first new park in ten years, bringing green, open space for community-building, recreation and public health to the heart of the Mission in collaboration with local community groups like Poder.

People Protected Bike Lanes fights to keep and create safe, accessible bike lanes free from car traffic. Their work has resulted in the installation of protected bike lanes on upper Market Street, $150k in funding for the Valencia Bicycle safety project, and upcoming projects on Howard and Townsend streets.