sketch of the 100-percent affordable project
681 Florida St. rendering. Courtesy of MEDA.

Construction has kicked off on a nine-story, 130-unit apartment building at 18th and Florida streets in the Mission — and, once complete, apartments there will be 100-percent affordable. 

Mayor London Breed’s Friday announcement of the groundbreaking at 681 Florida St. means that seven of the eight 100-percent affordable projects proposed in the Mission years ago — totaling some 800 units — are either filled, taking applications, or under construction. 

“We know, as a community, that Casa Adelante – 681 Florida is … an integral part of reversing the displacement of the Latinx and immigrant community,” said Karoleen Feng, the director of community real estate at the Mission Economic Development Agency, which is co-developing the project with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. 

“We are equally excited for the Mission community to see this space once again be reimagined as a home for the arts,” Feng said. 

The building will provide a mix of one- to three-bedroom apartments whose rent will range from 35 to 85 percent of the area median income. (Thirty-one percent of the area median income for one person in San Francisco is $31,400, and 85 percent is $76,200 for a single person.) 

Construction is expected to wrap up in August 2022. 

Carnaval San Francisco, a nonprofit that organizes the annual Carnaval Parade event but has since organized around community Covid-19 support, will occupy the ground floor.

The 100-percent affordable housing project will cost $90.3 million to build. The developers received $35 million from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. 

The property on Florida Street between 18th and 19th streets is one of seven 100-percent affordable projects to break ground in the Mission in the last two years. It was granted to the city by Nick Podell as part of the community benefits package for 2000 Bryant St., a now-completed 195-unit market-rate building on the same parcel. 

Roberto Hernandez, a community activist and artistic director of Carnaval San Francisco, said the Mission community fought Podell hard for the slice of land after Cell Space, an artist hub, was evicted there to make way for luxury development. 

“We come full circle and look forward to sharing the space with artists and arts organizations and serving the residential community!” Hernandez said. 

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. I am a Hispanic deaf mother of a 7 year old we have been homeless due to Domestic Violence first for 10 months and now again going on 2 months I really wish these type of apts would give my son and myself a chance Hud denied me but yet I see ppl get housing in weeks rent it out or use them as trap houses drive in with new Bmws I have worked since I was 16 in SF paid my taxes and SF cant cut me break what does it take Why would a woman with a disability and her child mean nothing I obey the law I dont abuse the system So this apts are just another hopeless dream for us SF needs to get their priorities straight.

    1. You mean people abuse the system? Shocking!
      And let’s see how all these 100% affordable buildings hold up with non profit management. I always thought the mix of market rate and affordable made the most sense; let’s hope the enthusiasm for 100% affordable housing aggressively pushed in the mission doesn’t lead to future ghetto-plexes. Given SF incompetence I wouldn’t hold my breath.
      Meanwhile 2 Beers above posts ironic ads about tech workers, as a typical knee jerk reaction to anything market related…I think they’re missing you over at suckitshite (garbage web site run by an overbearing editor.) Enjoy

      1. Wait til you hear about my upstairs neighbor who uses his $3000/mo rent control subsidy to pay the lease for his Volvo and Land Rover. I think I pay a quarter of his rent just for my bike parking spot.

        1. Classic SF rent control fail.
          Everyone- be sure to vote against prop 21. Don’t need our Bored of Stupidvisors rushing to institute vacancy control. That, and an overreach of 100% affordable housing will bring us back to the 1970’s, and a zero chance for this city to pay all the nutty tax obligations it so enthusiastically thrusts with various propositions, ordinances, etc. Reality Bites v 2.0.

  2. It’s great that SF is finally building housing that will be affordable. However, we need an immediate moratorium – if not an outright ban – on tearing down any more PDR buildings anywhere in the city; otherwise, there will be no place to work for people who don’t code disruptive pizza delivery apps that nobody will ever use.

  3. Let’s see…

    … “free land” extorted from the adjacent market-rate project, $90.3M in public funds to construct + a minimum of 10% soft costs (e.g. A &E, fees etc.) + 8% nonprofit developer fee (twice the fee that market-rate developers earn, btw) and you have a total conservative project cost of about $107.3M for 130-units — i.e., (44) studios, (31) 1-bed, (41) 2-bed & (14) 3-bed units.

    That works out to be over $825K/unit (not counting the value of the land) and nearly $540K per bedroom!

    That’s some darn expensive “affordable” housing.

    1. I didn’t see any mention in the article about the housing being cheap – just affordable.

      The article did say, however, that “Thirty-one percent of the area median income for one person in San Francisco is $31,400, and 85 percent is $76,200 for a single person.” In other words, someone working a full-time minimum-wage job could afford to live there – as long as nothing happens (like illness or, I don’t know, Covid-19) that might significantly reduce that worker’s income.

      1. At $825K per unit ($540K per bedroom) this is not a economically sustainable model moving forward, since it is not “affordable” to the taxpayers who are having to massively subsidize it.

        Accordingly, as a society we need to collectively work on making the creation of housing — overall — less expensive. First and foremost, the regulatory/entitlement process (i.e.planning approval) is far too uncertain, time-consuming and, therefore, inordinately expensive.

        Reforming this process is, therefore, essential, as it will benefit both market-rate and below-market-rate housing development across the board and help significantly increase supply and , thereby, lower cost — for everyone.

        Overall, in order to systematically address the housing crisis (i.e., housing shortage) we must focus our efforts in the following order:

        1. Supply (alleviate scarcity)
        2. Stabilization (enact reasonably “rolling rent control”
        3. Subsidy. (for everyone else that is not addressed by 1 & 2, provide targeted rental assistance)

        If we just focus on 2 and 3 — as many so-called “progressives” are wont to do, we will having continuing failure, scarcity and runaway housing costs for the vast majority.

    2. The land was not extorted. Black letter law of the Eastern Neighborhoods Mission Area Plan in the SF Planning Code offers the option of on-site affordable, in-lieu off-site and land dedications. The developer opted for the land dedication for affordable housing.

      The extortion took place at 1979 Mission where nonprofiteers beggared “The Hub” and Western SOMA to hitch affordable fees in one planning district to the purchase of 1979 in another.

      Once 100% permanently affordable housing is built, nobody cares how much it cost to build, it will always be inexpensive when viewed from the future. These are public sector investments, not public sector expenses, paid for with taxes on the private sector, which for taxpayers are expenses.

  4. That 2000 Bryant complex has a ton of vacancies, just looking at their website.

    That market they were catering to just doesn’t exist anymore