MEDA Clients, Including Ellis Act Evictee, Win BMR Condo Lottery for the Rockwell


It takes plenty of work to get prepared to buy a property in San Francisco. That’s why MEDA’s Housing Opportunities team sometimes work with clients for a year or more, with an initial six-hour workshop followed by tailored one-on-one coaching.

There’s getting that credit score up (720 or higher is the goal.) There’s saving for a downpayment. There’s being availed of the City’s DALP program to help with that initial large sum of money needed, as coming up with that amount of cash can be a huge obstacle for many first-time homebuyers in San Francisco.

January was super busy for MEDA’s Housing Opportunities team of three counselors. They helped 73 MEDA clients prepare applications for the 31 condos set aside as below-market-rate (BMR) of the 260-unit Rockwell, a new development located on Pine Street between Franklin and Van Ness in Pacific Heights.

BMR prices start at $209,640 for the 17 one-bedroom units and at $240,120 for the 14 two-bedroom units. A bargain compared to the over $1.1 million home price in San Francisco, according to Zillow.

Rockwell’s BMR units were priced to be affordable to households at 90 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), but the City allowed households earning up to 100 percent of AMI to qualify for the units.

Amenities at this new development run the gamut from a grand solarium and community room to a fitness center and Sky Terrace.

On Friday afternoon, most of the 300 total applicants packed a room at the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD).

Tension filled the tight quarters as a box was shaken and the numbers were drawn by MOHCD staff.

There are preferences given, with one being if the applicant is a victim of an Ellis Act eviction. Such was the case for Edwin Flores, who was raised in the Mission.

Edwin received free first-time homebuyer coaching from MEDA’s Juan Diego Castro. With everything in order, Edwin’s application for the Rockwell was put in by the Jan. 21 deadline.

The great news is that Edwin’s was the first number drawn today, the military veteran, who now works at the V.A. Center, anticipating moving into his new BMR condo at the Rockwell in Pacific Heights. He wants a two-bedroom unit, as his son lives with him.

Sometimes when your number comes up, it’s actually a good thing!


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