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SF allocates $2.7 million to support the preservation of nonprofit spaces

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Arc of San Francisco direct-support professional Gary Gregerson, left, chats with Arc client Lisa Palter. The nonprofit helps those with intellectual and developmental disabilities find jobs. (Gabrielle Lurie/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A number of city organizations have teamed up to commit $2.7 million to keep nonprofits in San Francisco. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Northern California Community Loan Fund announced today that the money will be earmarked for supporting long-term leases and spaces for nonprofits to work out of.

The grant comes as part of Mayor Ed Lee’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, which will dedicate $6 million over two years to support nonprofit space and sustainability in the face of rampant displacement.  

“San Francisco residents rely on nonprofit organizations to provide important services like child care, health care, job training, legal aid, and counseling,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “This fund will give them the financial stability to ensure they continue offering these vital resources to City families.”

The money will be divided under three programs. The Nonprofit Space Investment Fund will help nonprofits acquire new, permanent spaces. The Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program will address urgent needs, such as repairs, that would incentivize landlords to extend long-term leases for nonprofits who rent their spaces. And the Technical Assistance for Shared Spaces program would encourage partnering of organizations who work with similar topics or demographics, who may be good fits for sharing office spaces and costs.

“Because real estate is market driven, and many nonprofits rely on revenues from foundations or municipal sources that are less responsive, organizations are vulnerable as rents rise,” said Joanne Lee, Director of Consulting Services and Program Development for the Northern California Community Loan Fund.  “The current market environment has seen such steep increases in rent prices it has required intervention.”

Nonprofits who are in need of assistance can visit the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative website for resources. Information sessions on applying for funding will take place on March 2 at 2 p.m. at the Arts Commission (401 Van Ness, Suite 125) and Tuesday, March 7, 4:30 p.m. at the Roxie Theater (3117 16th St).

Applications for financial support must be received by 5 p.m. on March 28. The first round of awards will be announced on May 22.

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