MEDA and SFCLT Save Five At-Risk Properties Using City’s Small Sites Program

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Christopher Gil
Senior Content Marketing Manager
Mission Economic Development Agency
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152

Tracy Parent
Organizational Director
San Francisco Community Land Trust (SFCLT)
(415) 399-1490

Feb. 10, 2016

MEDA and SFCLT Save Five At-Risk Properties Using City’s Small Sites Program
Work with MOHCD to save longtime San Francisco tenants from Ellis Act evictions

San Francisco, Calif. — The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and the San Francisco Community Land Trust (SFCLT) today announced the successful purchase of five apartment buildings from the Iantorno family, thereby averting prospective speculation. The properties’ tenants include an artist, a war veteran, seniors and people of color — 13 low-income households at risk of Ellis Act evictions, some after decades of residency. The Iantorno family admirably agreed to pause the process and sell to nonprofits.

Sellers Sergio and Paul Iantorno explained the Small Sites sale as follows: “As longtime owners of residential property in the Mission District, we are very pleased to be able to share in the City’s vision of preserving and increasing its stock of affordable housing. As a result of guidance from and cooperation with the Mayor’s Office and Supervisor Jane Kim, the Iantorno family was able to transfer five properties to the Mayor’s Small Site Program. These sites were initially subject to Ellis Act proceedings; however, over the last nine months, we were able to iron out the terms for this transaction to the benefit of the tenants (and future occupants) of these buildings. This was accomplished in no small part through the collaboration and guidance from the Mayor’s Office and the financing role of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD). We thank buyers MEDA and SFCLT for their cooperation in achieving this mutually satisfactory outcome.”

Of the five rent-controlled properties, comprising 19 households total, MEDA purchased 642 Guerrero (Mission/four units) and 380 San Jose (Mission/four units), while SFCLT acquired 70-72 Belcher (Duboce Triangle/five units), 1684-1688 Grove (NoPa/three units) and 1353-1357 Folsom (SoMa/three units).

All properties were purchased with financing from the City and County of San Francisco’s Small Sites program, administered via the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD). The program was launched as a pilot in June 2014, with just $3 million in funding. Since that time, the City has financed approximately $20 million toward saving small buildings.

MEDA Director of Community Real Estate Karoleen Feng (photo, foreground) notes, “We applaud the City of San Francisco and Mayor Lee for their commitment to taking the Small Sites program beyond its pilot stage, and for using the program as one valuable tool toward solving the displacement crisis.”

Tenants at most risk of eviction are those living in buildings of fewer than 25 units. These smaller properties are the majority of buildings in many low-income San Francisco communities. One example is the Mission District, particularly hard hit by the city’s housing crisis. Per MEDA’s report, “An Assessment of Housing and Housing Affordability in the Mission Promise Neighborhood,” of the Mission’s 24,924 housing units, 17,195 are one- to 19-unit buildings. That is 69 percent of all properties in the neighborhood – the type of units that have seen the highest eviction rates in the San Francisco.

A press conference is being held tomorrow at 11am at one such building in SoMa, 1353-1357 Folsom. Tenants in this property have been fighting for 10 years to stay in their homes, enlisting the aid of Tenderloin Housing Clinic. The struggle was ended when SFCLT successfully used the City’s Small Sites program to buy the building.

Joining MEDA and SFCLT in this celebration of affordable-housing preservation will be: Mayor Ed Lee (photo, front left); an Iantorno family representative; residents Rene Yanez and Teresa Dulls; South of Market Community Action Network’s Angelica Cabande; Randy Shaw from Tenderloin Housing Clinic; MOHCD; Paulina Gonzalez from California Reinvestment Coalition; Enterprise Community Partners’ Justin Chen; Fernando Marti from Council of Community Housing Organizations; and Tommi Avicolli Mecca of Eviction Free San Francisco.

Concludes Organizational Director Tracy Parent of SFCLT, “The Community Land Trust is proud to have been able to create a win-win situation for the owner and tenants of these five apartment buildings, and we look forward to working with other apartment building owners who want to sell to the nonprofit community to stabilize existing residents and neighborhoods, while ensuring these homes remain permanently affordable for future households.”


Mission Economic Development Agency

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.


About San Francisco Community Land Trust (SFCLT)
SFCLT is a membership-based organization whose mission is to create permanently affordable, resident-controlled housing for low- to moderate-income people in San Francisco through community ownership of the land. The Land Trust acquires existing rental buildings in which lower income tenants are at risk of displacement or rent-controlled units are at risk of losing their affordability, and converts the building into a housing cooperative in which the tenants share ownership, while the Land Trust maintains ownership of the land.

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