A Mission District nonprofit is asking the city for $12 million to build housing for teachers at 18th and Mission streets.
The Mission Economic Development Agency is one of several community organizations vying for funds from Proposition I, a voter-approved measure that increased the real-estate transfer tax.
Prop. I sets aside millions of dollars each year for “social housing” — permanently affordable housing that is owned or managed by government agencies, community organizations, or residents. According to the city controller, the measure is projected to generate $170 million in each of the next four fiscal years.
A new oversight board will consider a dozen social housing proposals, including MEDA’s, Wednesday afternoon. It’s the first step in what could be a long process to determine which projects the city will fund.
The Housing Stability Oversight Board, which was created after Prop. I passed in 2020, does not have the authority to approve specific projects. It makes recommendations, which it must submit to the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and Mayor London Breed by March 31. The mayor makes the final spending decisions.
The process for evaluating proposals is new, said Shanti Singh, the oversight board’s chair.
“This is our first round of doing this,” said Singh, who is also communications and legislative director for Tenants Together, a renters’ advocacy group.
She predicts the oversight board will make more “holistic” suggestions about how San Francisco can boost social housing.
Last year, Mayor Breed refused to spend $64 million in Prop. I funds on the city’s Small Sites program, which helps community organizations acquire and rehabilitate housing. She did so despite support for the investment from eight supervisors.
Supervisor Dean Preston, who founded Tenants Together and crafted Prop. I, said he and community advocates like Singh are talking with the Mayor’s Office to avoid similar problems this year.
“I think it will help to have the Housing Oversight Board say what the funds will go toward,” Preston said in an interview.
Proposals submitted to the board include plans for a Bayview cooperative, homes for LGTBQ youth and upgrades to Single Room Occupancy hotel elevators.
MEDA’s development plans have been in the works for years. In 2017, it bought the site at 2205 Mission St. for roughly $6 million to develop below-market-rate studio and one-bedroom condominiums for teachers.
But after speaking with teachers’ union representatives last year, MEDA altered its plans to include more “deeply affordable” units and add more two- and three-bedroom units to accommodate families, said Karoleen Feng, the nonprofit’s director of community real estate.
Feng says the $12 million in Prop. I funding is “critical” to ensure that teachers can afford to buy those homes.