San Francisco’s Small Sites Program Helps Seniors and Four Generations of Families From Losing Their Homes in the Mission District

40-42 Sycamore (center)

Lucy Porras
Vice President, Development and Communications
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
(480) 748-0528



San Francisco’s Small Sites Program Helps Seniors and Four Generations of Families From Losing Their Homes in the Mission District
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) acquires 40-42 Sycamore Street after tenants’ long battle against evictions. Community organizations unite to safeguard decades-long Mission residents.

SAN FRANCISCO — After four years of living under the constant threat of an Ellis Act eviction, the Shauf and Hernandez families, who range in age from four-to-83, including children, elders, and individuals with disabilities, can finally find solace in their long-term homes at 40 Sycamore Street. Having resided there for four decades, the acquisition of this property by the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), a Mission- based non profit housing developer, marks a significant milestone.

On June 21, 2023, MEDA officially became the new owner of the building thanks to the City’s approval of funding through San Francisco’s Small Sites Program. This critical support enables nonprofit developers like MEDA to secure the future of this community’s beloved residence and provide a safe and stable environment for its diverse residents.

“The acquisition of 40-42 Sycamore/ 40 Clarion Alley marks the end of a long battle against the eviction of families who have called this place home since 1985. The relentless efforts from community organizations since 2019 demonstrate the unwavering commitment to preserving the fabric of our neighborhood. By preventing displacement and preserving affordable housing, we are nurturing a community where diversity thrives, and where everyone has the chance to succeed,” said MEDA Preservation Program Manager, Jose Garcia.

As it stands, 40 Sycamore Street is a three unit building: two, two-bedroom flats (40 and 42 Sycamore) and a one-bedroom cottage (known as 40 Clarion Alley) at the rear of the property. As a priority to the city, MEDA will be adding two accessory dwelling units (ADUs) making the future of this building a total of five apartment units.

“First, I thank the Lord, and secondly the MEDA staff and community organizers for acquiring the building, without them I don’t know where I would be. My family and I had lived in this building for 40 years, and I am so grateful that we will remain here in the building where I raised my children,” said resident Evelyn Shauf.

Similarly, residents Robert Hernandez and Lourdes Hernandez conveyed their happiness, stating, “We’re very happy. We feel safe and content that our home is saved where we grew up, got married, raised our children, then until now that we’re seniors. No one is bugging us anymore. We have peace of mind.”

After a challenging four-year battle against the Ellis Act Eviction, the resident families found unwavering support from Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Clarion Alley Mural Project, SOMA Pilipinas and United to Save the Mission. These dedicated groups fought alongside them, engaging in tireless advocacy efforts to secure the site and protect the rights of community members. Their commitment and determination were instrumental in achieving this hard-fought victory for the families and the broader community.

“Both the Shauf and Hernandez families have been critical to our North Mission community for 40 years; they are a great example of what it means to truly invest in community. For generations now, they’ve been looking out for their neighbors on the block and the surrounding areas including Clarion Alley. Whether helping with transportation, sharing food, or looking after one another’s kids, they’ve helped build a strong community who care through their actions,” said Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) Co-Director, Megan Wilson.

“The Filipino community across San Francisco has faced waves of displacement that still continue to this day. Preserving 40-42 Sycamore as permanent affordable housing is a huge victory of solidarity across communities and neighborhoods but it should not have taken this long. The preservation of rent-controlled housing through the Small Sites Program (SSP) is a proven strategy to prevent displacement of families who are the soul of our City and as one of the 2022 Housing Element strategies, we hope the City will embrace SSP to preserve our communities and stabilize our neighborhoods,” said SOMA Pilipinas Director Raquel Redondiez.

“We at Legal Assistance to the Elderly are very pleased that our legal efforts on behalf of the families at Sycamore Street aided this big win for the tenants. Results like this demonstrate how the system is supposed to work,” said Legal Assistance to the Elderly Staff Attorney Chelsea Blocklin.

“The Mission community is a tight knit fabric largely defined by the cultural diversity and experiences of our families, especially when they span many generations. After more than 3 years of intense advocacy, to have the Shauf and Hernandez homes acquired by MEDA through the Small Sites program and an addition of ADA and the cottage units to stabilize other families, is a dream of shared self-determination, community stability, and dignified aging for our elders realized. ¡Si Se Puede!” said Larisa Pedroncelli from United to Save the Mission.

About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
MEDA is a nonprofit community development agency started in 1973. 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.

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