Four hotels and a total of 368 units will be opened as permanent housing for the unsheltered population, as that sweet Prop. C “homeless tax” money starts rolling in.
The shelter-in place hotel program has been a terrific success, both effective and popular with voters, but was never meant as a permanent solution. After all, we expect tourism to return, and ideally, hotels should be hotels and we should have more supportive housing.
The question is how we get there. The Board of Supervisors has generally argued we should extend SIP hotels with federal funds and state Project Homekey money, but Mayor Breed has shot back that we should focus on transitioning to permanent housing solutions. Turns out there is a compromise, in large part thanks to more than $1 billion coming in from 2018’s Prop. C “Homeless tax,” as the Chronicle reports that the city is buying four hotels and converting them into permanent, supportive housing.
The four hotels represent 368 units, a sizable dent towards Breed’s goal of 1,500 new units by the end of 2022. The properties, and their room counts, are as follows:
- The Panoramic: 1321 Mission St. (160 units)
- Kimpton Buchanan Hotel: 1800 Sutter St. (131 units)
- Mission Inn: 5630 Mission St. (52 units)
- Eula Hotel: 3055-61 16th St. (25 units)
This is not a done deal, will need Board of Supervisors approval, and per the Chronicle, “the city will conduct community outreach at the end of August.” In other words, they do anticipate NIMBY pushback from people who just can't stand supportive housing coming into their neighborhood.
Some supes realize this and remain undaunted. “These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,” District 11 supervisor Ahsha Safaí told the Chronicle. (The Mission Inn is in his district.) “For anyone who would be resistant to it, I would say you can’t complain about people living on the streets and not do something about ensuring they have housing.”
Know who else this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for? The hotel owners. These properties are totally underperforming right now, and they are not going to get a market-rate type offer the likes of which suddenly cash-rich City Hall can bid. These sites would then be run by nonprofits, with case-manager support for residents, and mental health and substance treatment onsite.
The goal is to close these sales by the end of the year. San Francisco is pledging $400 million, plus there is a state grant scheduled to come available next month, though we don’t know how large that will be, nor when it will be announced.
But we do have a funny feeling that a very, very generous state offer will be announced prior to September 14. You know, the day of the Recall Gavin Newsom election.
Image: Panoramic Residences via Yelp