Christopher Gil, Senior Content Marketing Manager
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 13, 2016
San Francisco Family’s Eviction Averted as they Become New Homeowners
Joint effort of MOHCD, MEDA and Umpqua Bank to create fairness in housing
San Francisco, Calif. — Like many other Californians last week, the Palacios family of San Francisco were elated when they signed on the dotted line of their mortgage papers. These Guatemalan immigrants now own a piece of the American Dream. The dream could have easily become a nightmare. The home the family had been renting for years was converted to ownership and they had to qualify for a mortgage to purchase. After months of working on barriers to homeownership, and just in time to avoid eviction for failure to purchase, the family was able to secure a first mortgage loan and close on their home. This condominium purchase could have occurred only via the coordinated efforts of: the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD), which oversees the city’s BMR program; the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), providing asset-building services to clients such as the Palacios family; and Umpqua Bank, a relative newcomer to the Bay Area, which was willing to provide the loan despite the pending eviction litigation.
The Palacios’ family of five had lived for over a decade in the BMR rental at Tiffany Gardens, one of three Inclusionary Housing units in this 2003 market-rate building straddling the border of the Mission District and Bernal Heights. When Tiffany Gardens decided to convert all units to condos, the trio of BMR rental units was offered to existing tenants to purchase as BMR ownerships within six months, per the Inclusionary Housing program rules. That is when Luis and Brenda Palacios came to MEDA to better their credit scores and get schooled in the steps to becoming first-time homebuyers. The nonprofit knew that eviction could occur if the Palacios did not purchase or vacate their unit.
As the case was complicated by many factors, the six-month timeframe could not be met, despite many forces banding together to attempt to make this happen; therefore, Tiffany Gardens’ newly created homeowners’ association felt compelled to send the Palacios an eviction notice. MEDA then switched gears and found that Umpqua Bank would agree to offer the Palacios a loan despite the pending litigation, atypical for mortgage approvals.
At Thursday’s signing, MEDA’s Housing Opportunities Program Manager Juan Diego Castro (photo, background) explained, “My team worked diligently for months to coordinate this deal with City and to find a bank willing to give the Palacios a mortgage despite the eviction issue. MEDA appreciates the efforts of MOHCD and Umpqua Bank in making homeownership a reality for this
hardworking family. As a means to stem displacement in the Mission, enabling current tenants to buy their home is one strategy employed by MEDA’s Community Real Estate team.”
MOHCD creates affordable-housing options in San Francisco. Highlighting the importance of the Palacios’ BMR condo purchase, MOHCD Director of Homeownership and Below-Market- Rate Programs Maria Benjamin stated, “This family’s success story took a community effort. The Palacios will now continue to have stable, affordable housing — a key to economic success. MOHCD is proud of the collaborative work of the Tiffany Gardens HOA, Umpqua Bank and MEDA to keep this family in their home and make their homeownership dreams a reality.”
Umpqua Bank’s James Deschamps, of its home lending division, concurred on the import of the Palacios mortgage deal by stating, “Our bank was pleased to be part of this unique deal to keep the Palacios family in their longtime home. We wish the Palacios family many years of happiness in their new condo and look forward to helping many more Bay Area families achieve their economic goals.”
About Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development
The mission of the Housing Division of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development is to provide financing for the development, rehabilitation and purchase of affordable housing in San Francisco, and to strengthen the social, physical and economic infrastructure of San Francisco’s low-income neighborhoods and communities in-need. MOHCD also guides and coordinates the City’s housing policy. sf-moh.org
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. www.medasf.org
About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Private Bank serves high-net-worth individuals and nonprofits, providing trust and investment services. Umpqua Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Portland, Ore. umpquabank.com