Breed, Pelosi unveil newly renovated public housing in Tenderloin

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, joined San Francisco Mayor London Breed today in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood to 89 unveil newly renovated affordable housing units.

The units at Sala Burton Manor at 430 Turk St. have been rehabilitated to include modernized elevators, renovated interiors, plumbing and electrical enhancements, redesigned floor plans and increased accessibility.

Named after late House Democratic Leader Sala Burton, the public housing building is for elderly and disabled residents.

“As one who succeeded Sala Burton in Congress, who knew her values and knew how important our seniors and our people with physical challenges are to our community, how proud she would be to have a facility dedicated to their health, well-being, and just the dignity of it all,” Pelosi said.

Breed said, “Many of you know I grew up in public housing. We had a lot of challenges and the conditions I grew up in, sadly when I became a member of the board of supervisors, were a lot of the same conditions that too many of our public housing residents are still living with,” she said.

“I know what it’s like to live with the mold; with the broken elevators; with the roaches; with the neglect; the messed up pipes; the need to use someone else’s bathroom on a regular basis because yours didn’t work; the bathtub that didn’t work; the frustration; the hopelessness and the feeling that nobody cared,” she said.

Breed said public housing has always been a top priority of hers since her days as a supervisor.

“We made it happen, here in Sala Burton. We made it happen for 100 residents in 89 units,” she said. “A transformative place for the people who deserve nothing less.”

In 2015, ownership of the Sala Burton Manor was transferred from the San Francisco Housing Authority to the nonprofit Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program. The change allowed the corporation to leverage local funds, tax credit financing and private mortgages for upgrades to the building.

Funding for the renovations was made possible by a $19.1 million tax-exempt construction loan provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which has invested $2.1 billion in total financing for rental assistance demonstration projects in the city.

The financing marks the largest affordable housing deal ever for the bank, as well as the nation, Breed’s office said.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development oversaw $1.8 million in city funds for the renovations and the construction.

According to Breed’s office, the city is providing more than $100 million in total funding to the rental assistance program. The rental assistance program ensures that tenants whose units are being renovated be relocated temporarily, have a right to return to their units after they’ve been renovated and that their rent stays at 30 percent of their income.

CEO of Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, Donald Falk, said in a statement, “TNDC is proud to have played a role in a community-wide effort to improve both the housing and quality of living for some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable people. It is only through the collective effort of countless individuals and institutions that we could overcome so many daunting obstacles to create a national model for revitalizing public housing.”

-Daniel Montes, Bay City News

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