The Navigation Center at 1950 Mission Street will be turned into 165 units of affordable housing. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.

The Mission Housing Development Corporation and BRIDGE Housing will build the neighborhood’s first fully affordable housing development in nine years. Down the block from the 16th St. Bart Station, the homeless Navigation Center at 1950 Mission St. will be turned into 165 affordable family housing units.

The last such project built in the Mission was Valencia Gardens in 2006.

“We’re very happy because this is going to be probably the largest affordable housing project that’s being built in the Mission in the last decade,” said Pete Gallegos, a board member of Mission Housing.

The project is the first of several planned that could bring more than 300 affordable housing units to the Mission in the next several months, according to Gallegos. A project on South Van Ness announced earlier this month would bring 72 below-market-rate units to the Mission, while two more projects at 17th and Folsom and 26th and Shotwell would net another 80 and 60 units respectively.

Mission Housing has submitted a proposal for the 17th Street project and is putting one together for the project on 26th Street, which Gallegos said would be affordable housing for seniors. He expects the city will review the proposals later in September.

The housing complex on 16th Street will be entirely “100% affordable low-income and very-low income family housing” stated a press release, with anticipated rents “between 45% and 60% of area median income.” The units will have one to three bedrooms each, according to Gallegos, and a fifth of the units will be dedicated to formerly homeless families.

“It’s a really good mix with unit counts and also the eligibility of who will be there,” he said.

Gallegos said the project included four general elements: affordable housing, childcare and afterschool programs run by Mission Neighborhood Centers, artists studios and a mural walkway, and a resource center for local Mission businesses run by the non-profit MissionIMPACT.

“But a lot of this stuff is preliminary,” he added. “What’s going to happen is that over the next several months community meetings will take place to make sure that the community has input into what we’re doing and can give us ideas about how to improve the project.”

This all comes in the midst of a flurry of actions surrounding housing in the Mission. Activists stormed city hall in May to support a proposal by Supervisor David Campos to impose a 45-day moratorium on housing development in the Mission. The Board defeated the proposal 7-4 (it required nine votes to pass), but the actions have intensified calls for affordable housing in the Mission.

The city’s chief economic, however, said last year that it would take 100,000 new market-rate units to impact San Francisco’s housing crisis.

Still, the more than 300 below-market-rate units scheduled for the Mission represent the most significant construction of affordable housing in a decade.

The project will cost some $80 million and has multiple sources of financing, said Sam Moss, executive director of Mission Housing. The city already owns the land and will be using a ground lease that gives developers ownership of the building and allows the city to retain the land.

Gallegos said that permitting and other requirements for the 1950 Mission St. project should be completed by late 2016 or early 2017, and that construction would take another 18 months. During that time, the mayor’s office of homelessness would find another space for the Navigation Center, and Gallegos said Mission Housing and BRIDGE would be aiding in the physical relocation of the center.

Corrections: An earlier version of this article stated that the costs for the project were $600,000 per unit. Because of the significant amount of non-profit and retail space the complex will include, this is an inaccurate measure of project costs. Additionally, the earlier version stated that the city-owned land does not need to be purchased, which is not entirely accurate and has been updated accordingly.

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Joe was born in Sweden, where 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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  1. “The project will cost $600,000 per unit, said Gallegos, which will be financed through state tax credits and a construction loan. Additionally, Mission Housing and BRIDGE do not have to purchase the city-owned land.”

    $600,000 per unit is not affordable housing, it’s subsidized housing and create ghettos of the future. If you cannot afford to live her you should find someplace you can afford.

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  2. “The project will cost $600,000 per unit, said Gallegos”

    Let that sink in. 600k per unit and this is a big project where economy of scale helps the price per unit. No profit since this is affordable housing subsidized by tax dollars.

    “Additionally, Mission Housing and BRIDGE do not have to purchase the city-owned land.”

    What, what, what????? 600K is the cost just to build without having to purchase the land?

    Either these figures are off or someone is getting rich off this deal.

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