University Mound Ladies Home, located at 350 University Street. Photo courtesy of CBS.

The University Mound Ladies Home, a historic home offering room, board, and other services to seniors “of modest means,” closed on July 31 after more than 130 years in the Portola District. The home, located at 350 University Street, has been purchased by AgeSong, which will assume operational control.

AgeSong, a nursing home organization that describes itself as “the next step in assisted living,” has come under some criticism for not being transparent about the allocation of the funds used in the purchase. Residents and community members are concerned about the future affordability of the home once AgeSong assumes management.

Supervisor David Campos released the following statement regarding the closure:

AgeSong’s purchase of UMLH and assumption of its operations of UMLH is a positive development – but we must continue to fight to ensure that this facility remains affordable for future residents. I am deeply concerned that AgeSong has made no commitment to continue the legacy of care for people of ‘modest means.’ Further, I am outraged that residents, families and employees remain in the dark regarding the immediate future.

It remains unclear as to who will be employed at UMLH after AgeSong assumes operations. The employees deserve a commitment from AgeSong that they will not lose their jobs – and I am committed to stand beside the residents, families and workers to ensure that none of the UMLH workers is laid-off. I will advocate for the workers at UMLH and fight to ensure that the legacy of UMLH as an institution for persons of ‘modest means’ will continue for future generations.

UMLH was meant to close earlier this year after being bought by private school Alta Vista, a move that caused some 50 residents (of 77 at the time) to move out before the closure. AgeSong then matched Alta Vista’s $5.7 million bid for the property and was able to purchase it instead, affording the 20 or so residents who remain today (and those who moved out due to the closure) the chance to stay at the same subsidized rate as before.

But according to SFGate, newer residents will pay higher fees than those who were there before the purchase, in an effort to make the home “financially viable.” AgeSong’s chief operating officer Christina Flores said that she believed the higher rates for new residents would still “be a more affordable model than most assisted living in San Francisco.”

The SFGate story said the future is not set in stone, however, because the deal could fall through if AgeSong doesn’t finalize the purchase by August 14. This would allow Alta Vista the ability to buy the property and convert it into a school.

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Joe was born in Sweden, where the Chilean half of his family received asylum after fleeing Pinochet, and spent his early childhood in Chile; he moved to Oakland when he was eight. He attended Stanford University for political science and worked at Mission Local as a reporter after graduating. He then spent time in advocacy as a partner for the strategic communications firm The Worker Agency. He rejoined Mission Local as an editor in 2023.

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