Affordable Housing Ahead of Schedule and Under Budget

Christopher Gil
Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152


Affordable Housing Ahead of Schedule and Under Budget
San Francisco nonprofit housing developers open new, permanently affordable neighborhood housing through the City’s Small Sites Program

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 28, 2022 — The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and the San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC) were today joined by San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the successful renovation of a property at 168 Sickles Ave., bringing 12 units of permanently affordable housing to the Outer Mission neighborhood of San Francisco.

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 one- and two-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 longtime residents,” said 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 Ave. property is the second acquisition of a five-building MEDA/SFHDC partnership to grow SFHDC’s capacity in developing and owning buildings through the Small Sites Program. A seven-unit property at 520 Shrader St. in the Haight was previously acquired through this alliance in August 2019 and fully renovated and converted to permanently affordable housing status in April 2020.

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

SFHAF’s expedient $5.6 million bridge loan enabled SFHDC and its partner MEDA to acquire 168 Sickles Ave. at market speed, preventing the displacement of 12 longtime 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, MEDA, SFHDC 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 Ave. 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 Sites acquisition in our District,” said Safai. “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.”


About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in San Francisco’s Mission District, MEDA is advancing a national equity movement by building Latino prosperity, community ownership and civic power. We envision generations of Latino families choosing where to call home, thriving economically, succeeding in learning opportunities, and leading policy and social change toward a more equitable society.

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.

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, SFHAF 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.

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