“The process was quicker than I thought. I figured it would be longer than that,” says Shirley Murphy of the mere six weeks it took for her unit to be completely refurbished at 25 Sanchez. During the refurbishment, Shirley was relocated within the same building to provide the best situation possible for the San Francisco native.
Shirley has lived in her one-bedroom unit on the third floor since 2012. The building was under the auspices of the San Francisco Housing Authority, which was having issues around keeping the units up to date. In the City, public housing has more than $270 million in deferred capital repairs on its properties.
In Shirley’s case, that meant a bathroom that was in very bad shape, plus a bevy of other annoying issues.
“The tub was a mess. The toilet had issues. Even the heat didn’t work,” laments Shirley.
This isn’t just a local issue: With a $26 billion backlog of deferred maintenance at public housing sites nationwide, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created a new model called Rental Assistance and Demonstration (RAD). This program means San Francisco’s public housing sites leverage debt and equity — from public and private sources — to reinvest in the public housing stock.
All residents, like Shirley, retain their prior tenants’ rights. Additionally, all units are mandated to forever remain affordable housing.
HUD’s RAD program made perfect sense to be one piece of a Community Real Estate strategy aimed at not just producing 100 percent affordable housing in the Mission, but also preserving existing stock, such as that at 25 Sanchez.
Needing an experienced partner, MEDA brought in BRIDGE Housing. The partners now co-manage the Phase I trio of RAD properties of the Mission-Castro Cluster: 90 units at Shirley’s building at 25 Sanchez Street; 42 units around the block at 462 Duboce Avenue; and 109 units at 255 Woodside. There are two other RAD properties in Phase 2, with 107 units at 3580 18th Street and 92 units at 1855 15th Street.
Explains MEDA Project Manager Leslie Palaroan of her streamlined process for refurbishment of RAD properties, “Remodeling is needed, but we are aware how disruptive this can be for our residents. MEDA and BRIDGE Housing have the goal of making this process as seamless as possible. I am pleased that Shirley is back in her apartment — a home of which she can be proud and enjoy for years to come. Shirley’s story is the perfect example of how RAD can best work.”
Judging from how Shirley’s voice enlivened as she spoke of her newly remodeled unit, Palaroan’s comments definitely ring true.
This was a complete remodel. There’s new flooring and closet doors throughout. A kitchen replete with new cabinets and appliances. And that bathroom … well, a new tub and toilet are items making Shirley very happy.
Summing up her relocation/remodel experience, Shirley exclaims, “It’s cool. It’s all right. I love my new apartment, and I like this building. I tell my neighbors to hold on and trust in the process.”