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MidPen chosen as developer of City’s first teacher housing project

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Public art decorates a skate ramp at Playland at 43rd Avenue at the Francis Scott Key Annex on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. The site is expected to be developed into affordable homes for San Francisco teachers. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Nonprofit developer MidPen Housing has been awarded the contract for construction of The City’s first housing complex for educators, which is expected to open its doors in the Outer Sunset neighborhood in 2022.

Headquartered in Foster City, MidPen was chosen from the four firms who responded to a Request for Proposal issued by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development in fall 2017.

The development, a partnership between The City, the San Francisco Unified School District and the district’s educators union, United Educators of San Francisco, aims to address a mounting housing and affordability crisis among the City’s teachers and paraeducators.

Tuesday’s announcement concluded a nearly six-month selection process overseen by a panel that included representatives of the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, MOHCD and Sunset District community members as well as San Francisco Unified School District’s Deputy Superintendent Myong Leigh and former Chief Facilities Officer David Gouldin.

“The panel was impressed with MidPen for a number of reasons, including their deep experience in affordable housing developments serving middle-income households as well as specific experience in educator housing,” said Leigh, adding that the developer was also noted for having “established a track record of successfully counseling educator residents into home-ownership opportunities.”

MidPen’s portfolio includes affordable and mixed-income housing developments as well as educator housing in the San Mateo County Community College District. According to Leigh, MidPen also runs a teacher preference workforce housing program in Menlo Park.

Preliminary plans for the project, which is expected to cost some $70 million, include over 100 apartments for educators at the SFUSD-owned Francis Scott Key Annex at 1351 42nd Ave. The site is currently used for a temporary community space and park known as Playland at 43rd Avenue.

According to a statement released by the Mayor’s Office on Tuesday, the site will offer “affordable apartments for teachers and paraeducators employed by SFUSD and represented by UESF at a broad range of income levels, from 50 percent to 120 percent of area median income.”

The exact number and types of units will likely be finalized in the coming months, but initial plans call for 60 percent of the units to be set aside for teachers and 40 percent for paraeducators.

The San Francisco Examiner has previously reported that while teachers’ residencies will be limited to seven year terms, the units reserved for paraeducators, who face greater income restrictions, will be financed by low-income federal tax-credits, and those tenancies are not subject to limited terms.

Community engagement meetings will be held in the coming months to inform the refinement of the design concepts, according to Leigh.

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