Celebrating 168 Sickles Ave

San Francisco Nonprofit Housing Developers Open New Permanently Affordable Neighborhood Housing Through The City’s Small Sites Program.

(San Francisco, CA): The San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC) and Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) are joined by San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the successful renovation of a property at 168 Sickles Avenue bringing 12-units of permanently affordable housing to the Outer Mission neighborhood of San Francisco.

Staff from MEDA, SFHDC, SF MOHCD, and SFHAF cheer on Supervisor Safai and resident Remberto Gonzalez as they snip the ribbon to declare the rehabbed 168 Sickles “officially open.”

As part of the Small Sites Program funded by the Mayor’s Office of Housing & Community Development (MOHCD), the project renovated and seismically upgraded the property while providing residents with rental financing structures to make the units permanently affordable. The property is a mix of 1- and 2-bedroom apartments in which current residents have lived for an average of 13 years.

MOHCD’s Small Sites Program is a powerful tool to prevent displacement and expand San Francisco’s supply of affordable housing. The program has grown from an initial City investment of $3 million in 2014 to a total of more than $145 Million in City funding to date.

“This project epitomizes San Francisco’s willingness and ability to innovate in order to protect critically important existing, affordable rental opportunities for the city’s long-time residents,” says David Sobel, CEO of SFHDC. “It is only through a creative partnership with flexible financing that we are able to preserve housing for low- and moderate-income San Franciscans and ensure that it remains affordable in perpetuity.”

The 168 Sickles property is the second acquisition of a five-building SFHDC/MEDA partnership to grow SFHDC’s capacity in developing and owning buildings through the Small Sites Program. A 7-unit property at 520 Shrader Street in Haight-Ashbury was previously acquired through this alliance in August 2019 and fully renovated and converted to permanently affordable housing status in April 2020. 

To close on the sites quickly and efficiently, MEDA and SFHDC utilized low-cost, purpose-designed bridge loans from the non-profit San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund (SFHAF), which has financed 20 Small Sites projects throughout San Francisco since 2017.

The SFHAF’s expedient $5.6 million bridge loan enabled San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC) and its partner Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) to acquire 168 Sickles Avenue at market speed, preventing the displacement of 12 long-time tenants. As with other Small Sites Program properties, MOHCD is expected to provide permanent financing, repaying SFHAF’s loan.

“MEDA is proud to have 35 Small Sites properties in its portfolio,” said Karoleen Feng, Director of Community Real Estate of MEDA. “We are excited to partner with SFHDC and SFHAF on this latest project, as the Small Sites program is a targeted approach to the preservation of affordable housing across San Francisco.”

In addition to crediting the City for launching and sustaining the Small Sites Program, SFHDC, MEDA, and SFHAF thanked their philanthropic supporters, and in particular JP Morgan Chase, for helping them to scale to serve more residents. Since 2019, JPMorgan Chase has invested more than $10 million across the three organizations to accelerate housing production, preservation, and capacity-building efforts.

“We’re proud to work with affordable housing leaders like SFHDC, MEDA, and SFHAF and support housing innovation, production, and preservation in our communities,” said Allen Fernandez Smith, head of Global Philanthropy for the West Region at JPMorgan Chase. “The 168 Sickles development and the City of San Francisco’s Small Sites Program is increasing access to more affordable housing opportunities across the city and is key in addressing the ongoing housing gap.”

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, who represents District 11 where the property is located, also celebrated the public-private partnership that made it possible. “The acquisition by SFHDC is the second small site acquisition in our District. These acquisitions help to stabilize housing for working families in our neighborhood. These units of affordable housing preserve residences for families, teachers, and essential workers who are the essence of our community.”

SFHDC also recently closed on the acquisition of 936 Geary Boulevard, a 33-unit,  mixed-use property, with partner Novin Development, through the Small Sites Program. SFHDC’s Sobel said, “We look forward to continuing our work with SFHAF and MOHCD, as well as our other partners, to acquire, protect and renovate additional at-risk properties, as part of San Francisco’s robust affordable housing ecosystem.”

About San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC)

SFHDC was formed in 1988 by San Francisco residents who were interested in combating the widespread displacement of the ’60s and ’70s. Governmental agencies removed residents through ‘redevelopment programs’ that disproportionately affected African Americans and other people of color. Formed by African American community leaders, SFHDC continues to focus on serving people of color and the traditionally African American Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood.  SFHDC has developed or preserved over 1,200 affordable housing units, with another 700 units in the pipeline.

Additional information may be found at www.sfhdc.org

About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.

Additional information may be found at www.medasf.org.

About the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund

The San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund is committed to the preservation and expansion of quality affordable housing for economically disadvantaged individuals and households. An innovative nonprofit public-private partnership, HAF works with the city of San Francisco, local foundations, private lending institutions, and corporations to provide powerful new financing tools to ensure that San Francisco remains vibrant, equitable, and inclusive for all. Additional information may be found at www.sfhaf.org.

Photos by Marissa Leshnov, all rights reserved. https://www.marissaleshnov.com