Affordable housing advocates in the Mission District have something to celebrate: The development rights for what's currently the temporary Homeless Navigation Center at the former Phoenix Continuation High School site have been awarded to Mission Housing Development Corporation and BRIDGE Housing, as Mission Local and Socketsite report. There, at 1950 Mission Street between 15th and 16h streets —just half a block from the contentious 330-unit building dubbed the "Monster In the Mission" — the team plans to construct 165 apartments for low-income families. The parcel is roughly 1 acre and zoned for development up to 85 feet in height.
According to the Mission Housing Development Corporation and BRIDGE, "Twenty percent of the apartments will be set aside for formerly homeless families, projected rents for the balance of units will be affordable to families earning between 45% and 60% of area median income, though deeper affordability could be achieved depending upon final sources of financing." It's also worth mentioning that this would be the first new affordable housing development in the neighborhood in nine years, since 2006 saw the opening of Valencia Gardens.
Planned amenities include a courtyard, community room and kitchen, a media lab, and artists’ studios with a proposed mural walkway. A rooftop garden has also been proposed.
The project "will also provide dedicated space for Mission Neighborhood Centers’ Head Start, Early-Head Start and Mission Girls Programs. Additionally, MissionIMPACT will provide the surrounding neighborhood with a commercial office space that serves as a one-stop center for the needs of the Mission’s small business and nonprofit community at affordable rental rates.”
The estimated budget for the proposed development: $81 million, or roughly $490,000 per unit not accounting for the land (which is free). The plans for 1950 Mission Street come shortly after the announcement that San Francisco is planning to buy and make fully affordable a development at 490 South Van Ness Avenue.
As for the Navigation Center, it will likely have to move elsewhere by late 2016. But this week C.W. Nevius was writing about ambitious plans taking shape to possibly turn multiple shelters around the city into similar Navigation Centers where encamped homeless can move together, friends, pets, significant others and all, and stay until more permanent housing can be found. As Supervisor Mark Farrell, who's been holding hearings on homelessness, puts it, "When you are on the street and you have all your belongings in a bag or a cart nearby, a small room in the Tenderloin for one night doesn’t look that appealing." The plan would likely require $100 million and a ballot measure, and possibly a sales tax increase.