San Francisco is shifting voter- approved housing bond money away from both an affordable housing project in the Excelsior due to delays and a senior housing project in Forest Hill following pushback from neighbors.
Instead, the planned funding for those two projects will go toward a new effort at 88 Broadway on the northeast waterfront for 104 units for low- and middle-income families and a 96-unit project at 1296 Shotwell St. in the Mission District for low- income seniors. Both projects are expected to be completed by 2020.
The details were announced in a mandated report released in March on the $310 million 2015 Affordable Housing General Obligation Bond, which was estimated to cost property owners about $7.21 per $600,000 of net assessed value in property taxes. The report comes as the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee is being asked to allow the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development to allocate an additional $141 million of the bond, which is expected to be spent by September 2020.
As of December, The City had issued $75 million of the $310 million bond, and spent $39 million while another $20 million is encumbered. The bond money pays for public, low-income and middle-income housing. Low-income housing is for those earning up to 80 percent of the area median income, and middle-income housing is for those earning between 121 percent and 175 percent of area median income. There is also funding specifically earmarked for the Mission neighborhood.
The report also provides a look at what it takes for San Francisco to create affordable housing during a time of heated policy debates, such as that over Senate Bill 827, which would increase the allowed heights and density for housing near transit.
The single-largest amount spent was for the rebuild of the Potrero Hill and Sunnydale public housing projects, some $17 million of the total $59.7 million in bond money earmarked for the projects.
For low-income housing projects, $6 million was allocated to acquire and pre-develop the 1990 Folsom St. project. The $112 million development is a joint venture between the Mission Economic Development Agency and the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, which is “expected to close and start construction February 2019,” according to the report.
But other projects haven’t gone as planned.
In September 2016, the MOHCD recommended pre-development loans from the bond for three new multi-family developments: the 4840 Mission St. project in the Excelsior, the Forest Hill 250 Laguna Honda Blvd. project and the 500 Turk St. project in the Tenderloin.
Only the Tenderloin project, which has received $3 million in bond funding for a predevelopment loan to date, is panning out. The 108-family unit apartment, of which up to one-third of the units would go to homeless families, is currently going through environmental review. It is on track to be completed in March 2022 and slated to receive an additional $24.1 million in bond funding.
The Forest Hill project was scrapped due to neighborhood opposition amid escalating cost concerns and a geotechnical report finding a nearby slope unstable and in need of shoring up — after a $2 million investment from bond funds. And the Excelsior project was delayed due to efforts to merge the initial project with a nearby lot, which “does offer the potential for a better long-term outcome for residents of the neighborhood,” according to the report. The report also noted that, “funding for 4840 Mission will come from other MOHCD sources” when it’s ready. The project has drawn community pushback for not having more units for low-income residents.
The $43 million that was allocated for the two projects will now go to 88 Broadway and 1296 Shotwell, which is included in the $141 million requested for the next bond issuance.
The next batch of funding would add $9 million to The City’s Small Site program, which acquires small rental properties to take them out of speculators’ reach. The first batch of funding put $15 million in this program, which led to the purchase of seven sites, comprising a total of 39 units.
Another $15 million would go into a down payment assistance program to provide middle-income, first-time homebuyers with loans to purchase homes.
The 1990 Folsom St. project would receive $41 million for construction costs.
The board’s budget committee is expected to vote Thursday on the bond funding.
All told, the bond is expected to fund about 1,200 units units of housing through its various programs, according to a March 16 memo from Benjamin McCloskey, deputy director of Finance and Administration with the MOHCD.