An affordable housing building with graffiti.
1979 Mission St.

This story provides an update to a list of 100-percent-affordable housing projects, with a total of 839 units, we drew up just over a year ago. At that time five of the projects were already under construction and three more were moving toward approval.

After years of planning, a slew of affordable housing developments are either going up, or are already full of new tenants. The first of eight projects opened at the beginning of this year. Four more, totaling 508 units, will open in the next five months, a sharp increase from the 193 affordable housing units added to the Mission from 2010 to 2019. The remaining three projects are scheduled to open between one and two years from now. In addition, there are two more projects that are likely to get underway sometime in the next couple of years.

The projects each have different populations they are aiming to include, and different eligibility rules.   

1296 Shotwell St. at Cesar Chavez Street

Casa Adelante is, so far, the only completely occupied building, and the first entirely affordable housing development in a decade. The nine-story building was completed in December of 2019 and all 93 units were filled by early this year. The units are exclusively for seniors; any head of household must be at least 62 years old. 

Of the 93 units, 69 are one-bedroom units that rent in the range of $300 to $1,162 per month. The remaining 24 units are studios, that go for $266 to $1,021 per month, according to the Mission Economic Development Agency. The Chinatown Community Development Center was a codeveloper in the project.

Residents in the building cannot make more than 50 percent of the area median income, which is $44,850 for a single person and $57,650 for a family of three, per the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

Olga Baltodano, a resident in the building since March, told Mission Local that she is very happy in her new home. 

In 2015, a fire on Bartlett Street swept through Batodano’s building and left her without a home. The woman, now retired, then moved around the Mission until she found out about the Displaced Tenant Housing Preference Program, which put her in line for a unit within MEDA’s new senior housing project. 

Baltodano said her rent dropped from over $600 per month to about $340 now. That, she said, has been a big help. 

1950 Mission St. between 15th and 16th streets

La Fénix will be completed and fully occupied before the year’s end, according to Sam Moss, the executive director of Mission Housing. La Fénix has 157 units – the most of any of the eight projects, and was co-developed with BRIDGE Housing. Applications for units in the building closed in late July.

Moss said 20 percent of the units are reserved for previously unhoused residents. The remainder are for residents who make 45 to 60 percent of the area median income, which is $40,350 to $53,800 for a single person, $46,125 to $61,500 for a family of two, and $57,650 to $64,050 for a family of four.

Studios make up 32 of the building’s units, another 36 are one-bedroom units, and a whopping 73 are two-bedroom units. The remaining 14 units are three-bedroom units. Two three-bedroom units have been set aside for on-site supervisors. 

Residents will have access to services from Lutheran Social Services, Mission Neighborhood Center, and People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights. 

The building will also include a rooftop garden, as well as several street-level retail spaces.

2060 Folsom St. at 17th Street

This nine-story, 127-unit building, developed by MEDA and the Chinatown Community Development Center, should be complete by January 2021. MEDA stopped taking applications for units in the building on Sept.1.

Over 7,000 applications came in for the project, including 1,200 from current Mission residents, according to Elaine Yee, MEDA’s associate director of community real estate. 

The final selection will be through a lottery. 

Of the 127 units, 22 are studios, 15 are one-bedroom units, 47 are two-bedroom units and 42 are three-bedroom units. One two-bedroom unit has been set aside for management. 

All units are meant for individuals making 30 to 60 percent of the area median income, which in 2020 is $26,900 to $53,800 for a single person, and $41,500 to $83,000 for a family of five. 

MEDA also reserved 29 of the units for “transitional-age youth,” residents from 16 to 25 years old who were previously unhoused or who are parents. 

490 South Van Ness Ave. at 16th Street

Just two blocks east of 1950 Mission St., Mission Housing and BRIDGE Housing’s Avanza 490 is nearly completed and should be fully occupied between January and March of 2021, according to Moss. Applications for the building closed in June. 

The building’s 80 affordable units are also set for residents making 30 to 60 percent of the area median income. The building has two studios, 44 one-bedroom units, 30 two-bedroom units, and four three-bedroom units. One two-bedroom unit has been set aside for management. 

A quarter of the units will be reserved for residents transferring from the Sunnydale and Potrero public housing projects, which are being renovated, according to Moss. Thirty-five units will go to residents living in District 9, or within one mile of the project, according to the project website. 

Instituto Familiar de la Raza is set to provide health services to residents in the building, and PODER will also have a presence there.

1990 Folsom St. at 16th Street

The building at 1990 Folsom St. stopped accepting applications on Tuesday, according to the property’s page on Dahlia, the city’s housing portal. 

Yee said the project is 82 percent finished and should be ready for occupants in March of 2021. 

The building, which was developed by the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation and MEDA, will have 143 units, including 23 studios, 48 one-bedroom units, 60 two-bedroom units, 11 three-bedroom units, and one two-bedroom unit for management. 

Residents must make between 30 to 60 percent of the area median income, but 25 percent of the units will be reserved for residents from the Potrero Terrace public housing complex, a move made in coordination with the city to help move residents out of the complex to renovate those dwellings, according to Moss.  

The building will also contain two childcare centers, roof access, over 100 bike parking spaces, two community rooms, and 9,000 square feet set aside for Mission nonprofits HOMEY and Galería de la Raza. 

681 Florida St. at 18th Street 

MEDA’s project on this site broke ground only last week, on Friday, Oct. 23. Like 1990 Folsom St., this project is also being developed in partnership with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation.

The building, which has an estimated completion date of August, 2022, will include 130 units: 44 studios, 30 one-bedroom units, 41 two-bedroom units, 14 three-bedroom units and a one-bedroom unit for management. Thirty percent of the units will reportedly be set aside for previously unhoused families. 

Interested residents should watch for applications opening six to nine months before the projected completion, according to Yee. They can sign up for updates here. 

The property is also expected to boast a large space dedicated to the arts, which will be operated by Carnaval, according to Yee. 

2205 Mission St. at 18th Street

This project, in the historic Streamline Moderne building that was once the home of Gernhardt-Strohmaier Stove Store, only received the necessary entitlements this July. Unlike the other projects on this list, this development will offer 63 condos for sale. 

The condos, developed by MEDA are aimed at residents making 80 to 120 percent of the area median income. A family of four would have to make no more than between $102,500 and $153,700 a year.

3001 24th St.

Mercy Housing and Mission Neighborhood Centers broke ground on the five-story 24th Street project in January of this year. The building will consist of 44 studios for displaced senior residents, with an additional studio for management. Developers initially estimated residents would move in by the middle of 2021, but calls for comment were not returned, so the current status of the project is unclear. 

Potential Future Developments

1515 South Van Ness Ave. at 26th Street

In June of last year, Mayor London Breed announced plans for the city to buy 1515 South Van Ness and select a developer to build 150 units of 100-percent affordable housing on the property. Now, nearly a year and a half later, a developer has yet to be chosen. Both MEDA and the Mission Housing Development Corporation have publicly expressed interest in the project. 

“We’re definitely interested in 1515 South Van Ness. We’re hoping to see that coming out soon,” Yee said, adding that the site is currently a safe sleeping site for unhoused residents. With Covid-19, it is uncertain when the site will be available. 

1979 Mission St. at 16th Street

After years of debate over this property, developers and the city seemed to reach an agreement for the “Monster in the Mission” that was generally agreeable to most. Crescent Heights, a national developer, offered to buy the property from Maximus Properties earlier this year and donate it to the city to fill their affordable housing quota for a separate property about a mile north. 

Crescent Heights did not return a request for comment, so the current status of the deal is unclear. If the deal were to go through, the site could hold more than 300 affordable housing units, more than any other property on this list by far. 

Correction: This story was updated on 1/22/2021 to include the involvement of codevelopers in these projects. 

Keep coming back and if you haven’t already, support Mission Local’s reporting. If you have, thank you.

Follow Us

Juan Carlos Lara covers business and development in the Mission. Juan Carlos, a San Francisco State alum, is as much a photographer as he is a writer and previously worked as the campus news editor at Golden Gate Xpress, SF State’s student paper.

Tips can be sent to
Tweets can be found at @jcl_scoop

Join the Conversation


  1. It’s a start, but it’s shameful that there were no 100% affordable housing developments in an entire decade.

    San Francisco needs to get its priorities straight, tax the tech companies that have made life impossible for anyone not making 100k per year impossible, and, oh, that’s right, get rid of London Breed! Remember her? The woman who openly accepts bribes? Yeah. We sort of forgot about that because of Corona.

    London is a hypocrite and I have doubts about her ever having lived the supposed life of poverty that she did in public housing. We need to stop praising her for her supposed amazing leadership during this crisis. All she did was shut things down so rich White people could work from home and the Latinx community could be offered as sacrifice.

    I’m ashamed of this city. We bear the name of Saint Francis, and we continue to fail to live up to it. For shame.

    votes. Sign in to vote
  2. Great that there are affordable housing we so need it with all the homelessness here throughout California This article should have been published long before the units were full and the list was closed for most of the units Please find a way to get the word out sooner to those in need for housing Thank God for the ones that are housed

    votes. Sign in to vote
  3. It’s great to see all the new subsidized housing going up in the neighborhood! It’s been a long time coming but the number of projects going up this quickly is impressive.

    I wanted to see if anyone could comment on the public housing projects in the Mission. I live near the Bernal Dwellings public housing project and there is persistent gun violence around that complex. It’s the only part of the Mission where I consistently feel unsafe and have witnessed gun violence. How do we solve that? It seems like Valencia Gardens used to be just as bad, but since the rebuild of that project, it seems much calmer (although I only walk by VG occasionally — I walk by BD everyday). Thanks for your constructive feedback.

    votes. Sign in to vote
Leave a comment
Please keep your comments short and civil. Do not leave multiple comments under multiple names on one article. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *