By Janice Bressler
District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer and a coalition of local housing advocates announced on Oct. 16 the acquisition of the property located at 4200 Geary Blvd. – currently the site of a funeral home – to construct a 100%-affordable senior housing complex. They also called on community members to participate in shaping the final plans for the project.
The building at 4200 Geary Blvd. has been acquired by the City to be demolished and replaced with a seven-story, 100%-affordable housing complex for seniors. Photo by Michael Durand.
“I am thrilled and excited that we will be building a 100% affordable senior housing project,“ Fewer told a small crowd at a press event held next to the site. Project planners announced a series of virtual community meetings about the next steps. Fewer said the goal of the meetings is to maximize community input on the planned building.
“We want to have as many voices at the table as possible,” she said.
The Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), a nonprofit based in the Tenderloin, is the developer for the project. It acquired the site with the help of the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund, which fronted the needed capital.
Colleen Ma, TNDC project manager for 4200 Geary, outlined current plans for the building. The senior complex will contain 98 affordable studios and single-bedroom units in a seven-floor building that will serve low-income and formerly homeless seniors. Plans for the ground floor include rooms for a tenant services office and a large community room.
Ma explained that while the entire building will offer affordable housing, the rents offered will be tiered at three different levels: 25% of the units will be reserved for formerly homeless seniors, and 25% of the units will be dedicated to extremely low-income seniors – those with an income of 15-30% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The remaining 50% of units will be available to seniors with 50-80% of the AMI.
In addition, because of the City’s Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference program, 40% of the units can be set aside for seniors who currently live in the Richmond District.
Construction is expected to be completed and the tenant application process opened by the end of 2023 or early 2024.
There is still time for community members to share their input into the design of the project. TNDC is hosting three virtual meetings to gather the community’s perspective. To maximize community participation, each of the three meetings will be conducted in a different language. The first meeting – in English – was scheduled for Monday, Oct. 26. The second meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. in Chinese. The third meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov 10 at 6 p.m. in Russian.
Praising the work of TNDC, Fewer also spoke about the place of the 4200 Geary project in the ongoing struggle to preserve and build more affordable housing in the Richmond District. Since 2018, using the City’s Small Sites Program, her office has worked with housing advocates to establish permanently affordable housing in small residential buildings (five to 25 units) at three different locations in District 1.
Joseph Smooke, a longtime housing activist and housing consultant to Fewer’s office, echoed the supervisor’s call for continued and vigorous efforts to build more affordable housing in the Richmond District. Toward that end, Smooke is currently working on developing an affordable housing nonprofit like TNDC that is focused specifically on the west side.
Fewer also thanked voters for passing two propositions that she had championed in 2019 which she said made the 4200 Geary Senior Project possible. Proposition A was a $600 million affordable housing bond, with $250 million dedicated to senior housing. Proposition E rezoned large lots throughout the City to streamline 100% affordable housing projects. Both propositions, according to Fewer, were essential to the success of 4200 Geary.
District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer at an Oct. 16 press conference announcing the new housing project at 4200 Geary Blvd. Photo by Michael Durand.
“It has been a long journey to get here, but my office has worked so hard to bring a new affordable housing project to my district, and I’m so proud of this accomplishment,” Fewer said. “I am especially delighted that I am able to launch this project before I leave office in January. Anybody who says that 100% affordable housing is not possible on the west side is wrong!”
To register for one of the virtual community meetings, go to https://bit.ly/3nFM8v0. For more information. email 4200GearyInfo@gmail.com or call 415-937-0701.