Sunset Project Updates
By District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar
I’m excited to share that the SF Board of Supervisors adopted my Veterans Affordable Housing Access Act, a new policy that helps prevent homelessness and expands access to affordable housing for veterans.
Veterans often face homelessness or lack housing options due to mental health, disability or affordability issues. In fact, the City’s latest Point in Time Count reported that veterans are three times more likely than other city residents to be homeless. This legislation acknowledges the housing challenges veterans face after making great sacrifices, giving them priority in all of our City’s affordable rental housing and homeownership programs.
Meanwhile, Shirley Chisholm Village, the City’s first-ever affordable housing project for SFUSD teachers and staff, is one step closer to being built with the Board of Supervisors voting this month to approve the $48.2 million gap financing loan I sponsored with Mayor London Breed.
MidPen Housing broke ground in August on construction of 135 homes, a playground and community facilities – exactly the kind of new housing and community-serving development we need in the Sunset. I’ll keep fighting for more.
And ahead of groundbreaking for the 100% affordable family housing project at 2550 Irving St., I have also been working with the Mid Sunset Neighborhood Association to ensure proper action is taken on toxic PCE contamination discovered in the soil on and around the 2500 block of Irving by using the highest standards for health protection. PCE is a potentially cancer-causing chemical used by legacy businesses, notably dry cleaners. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is managing five separate environmental oversight agreements with different property owners on the block.
In July, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the resolution I sponsored that urges DTSC, in coordination with SF Department of Public Health, to ensure a comprehensive, coordinated investigation and cleanup plan on two fronts: protecting the health of all residents including vulnerable seniors and children, and holding all parties that currently or formerly own these parcels accountable.
Besides building new affordable housing, we need to also preserve what we already have. This year, I co-sponsored financing legislation that allowed Mission Housing Development Corporation to acquire 24 units of public housing at 2206-2268 Great Highway and 4101 Noriega St. from the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA). This is part of an ongoing process that has been taking place over the past 10 years to completely rehabilitate and preserve San Francisco’s legacy stock of public housing by turning ownership and management responsibilities over to private non-profit housing developers, like Mission Housing.
Our neighborhood will see these buildings, which include two-, three- and four-bedroom units, revitalized as they undergo major rehabilitation without a full demolition. Construction is underway and will take approximately 10 months. These buildings will remain affordable for at least 99 years, supporting working-class families by preserving affordable housing in the Sunset.
We are also facing an affordable housing emergency for our rapidly aging population. I commissioned a comprehensive report and held a hearing on this issue, including three dozen important policy recommendations covering independent living, affordable and market-rate housing and long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities. In this year’s budget, I fought for and won $4 million in funding for senior affordable housing rental subsidies, $2.4 million for the creation of a pilot program for an affordable residential care facility for the elderly in the Sunset, and staffing for the creation of a comprehensive housing master plan for seniors and people with disabilities.
In August, I was proud to join Assemblymember Phil Ting, Self-Help for the Elderly, SF Recreation and Park Department and Sunset seniors to announce the much-needed renovation of the South Sunset Clubhouse and Senior Center. The clubhouse is not only a critical space for neighborhood activities, but it is also where over 2,000 daily meals are served to our most valuable and vulnerable senior community by Self-Help for the Elderly. With $2.4 million in state funding secured by Assemblymember Ting, along with the $3 million we secured for this renovation in 2020 with voter support, I’m looking forward to a modern and improved clubhouse serving our seniors and the entire Sunset community for many years to come.
I recently introduced a resolution calling for the creation of a financing plan by the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning for the full expansion of the City’s Emergency Firefighting Water System to all unprotected neighborhoods. This is a tremendously important long-term emergency preparedness infrastructure project for residential neighborhoods on the west side and southeast San Francisco. The resolution calls for the financing plan by the end of the year as an important next step in the diligent work that my office has been focused on over the past several years with the SFPUC, Fire Department and neighborhood groups and leaders including Nancy Wuerfel, Dick Morten, Tom Dudiet and Eileen Boken.
Improving public transit service is another high priority for our Sunset community, and I’m excited to initiate planning for a new neighborhood shuttle service through the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. Currently only 4% of trips within the Sunset are by public transit, and this new community shuttle will fill service gaps and support more residents to get to and from neighborhood businesses, libraries, parks and schools by transit. Because the Sunset is so spread out, I’ve requested for the plan to pilot an “on demand” service model such as Sacramento’s SmaRT Ride service, an app-based, on-demand public transit shuttle service operating in 11 neighborhoods.
I’m excited to announce the historic investments to improve Sunset Boulevard I secured in the new city budget, totaling over $3 million – funding that will create a new dedicated gardening team for Sunset Boulevard provide irrigation repairs and expand our watering capacity, and launch a major project to finally convert the irrigation system to recycled greywater. Thank you to Friends of Sunset Boulevard and over 800 community members for advocating for these investments in Sunset Boulevard during the budget process.
This was a breakthrough year in our work to address the challenges this critical green space has faced and to make this neighborhood landmark one we can all be proud of. If you missed our recent community meeting on this topic, you can watch the full program at https://bit.ly/WatchSunsetBlvd.
Finally, I’m excited to announce three upcoming Outer Sunset celebrations of the Autumn Moon Festival, an important cultural tradition celebrated in China with similar holidays in other Asian countries. The celebration begins on Saturday, Sept. 10 with the 2022 Sunset Autumn Moon Festival in the morning and afternoon at 2550 Irving St., followed by a lantern parade and lots more that evening at the Mid-Autumn Festival Twilight celebration at Irving and the Great Highway. On Sunday, Sept. 11 at Outer Sunset Farmers Market and Mercantile, we will have a whole day of celebration, including lion dances, Chinese opera and special deals from vendors.
Gordon Mar represents District 4 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He can be reached at 415-554-7460 or email@example.com.
Categories: City Hall