Courtesy of MEDA. The proposed project at 2205 Mission St., which is earmarked for teacher housing.

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.


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REPORTER. Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

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  1. The “Teacher Housing Act of 2016” only authorizes school districts to develop housing for the exclusive use of teachers (and district employees) using taxpayer financing.

    Accordingly, if this project is controlled by MEDA — and not the SFUSD — it would be illegal for MEDA (if it uses even one penny of public funds) to limit tenants to only teachers and school district employees.

  2. This building has been empty and deteriorating for many years and is an eyesore that affects everything around it by perpetuating the ‘broken windows’ theory of urban blight.
    Either knock the thing down, remodel it or build up but PLEASE do something soon.

  3. How about paying us educators a living wage (um…liveable in SF) so we don’t have to live exclusively with the people we work with and can enjoy any neighborhood as other civilians? I appreciate the intention behind educator housing, i really do! But I’d more appreciate having a salary that enables me and my colleagues to stay in SFUSD and live where and with whom we want to.

    1. I’m glad you and the previous commentator brought this point up.
      The more one considers this whole concept, the stupider and stupider it seems.
      By the time you factor in the bureaucratic/corruption costs and time costs to both the developer and teachers (think this will be ready in under 5 years?) you’ll be well over a million dollars per unit.

      And what happens if the teacher takes a different position – say in a parochial school – out on the street you go?

      And yeah – what’s with the push for segregated housing for teachers?
      Money I suppose.
      Now the SFTU is in on it.
      From the wee bit of insight into the TODCO operation it seems non-profits can Re-Fi the property after so many years at the adjusted upwards valuation and keep expanding the empire.
      There is a definite need for affordable housing in SF ASAP but the whole “teacher” thing smacks of a political shmear similar to “it’s for the children”. Who doesn’t want housing for teachers? So you have all the usual suspects jumping aboard this gravy train.

      All the money that will go into this concept would most likely be more than enough to cover paying teachers for what they are worth to our city and the benefits (inclusive of a livable SF wage) would be immediate.
      Look at it this way:
      A million bucks to house one teacher + possible family members.
      So – teachers – do you want the far in the future pad for which you will still have to pay an “affordable” price OR a $50,000 a year raise right now ($1,000,000 / 20 year career) ?

      But I guess all the myriad of stakeholders in this scheme have seen the political and money light flashing so off we go down the rabbit hole once again.

  4. Way too many hands in the pot. And, as pointed out, what with retirees. For sure there’s more problems to come that nobody thought of, or bothered to care for. Here’s an idea: How about we pay teachers proper? There’s no reason an experienced and performing teacher shouldn’t be making what some software engineering drone who just moved in from the midwest or India gets at Google. Oh, we don’t have the funds? Well, check out the non-profit industrial complex…

  5. What is it with the nonprofity type that so many luminaries wear so many hats?

    Jacobo was Calle24, Todco and the BIC.

    Singh is SFTU, Berniecrats and chair of this board.

    I mean, if we were seeing activism and advocacy that was up to the task of pushing corporate power back to a standstill and then doubling down and going on the offensive, then it would not matter who’s taking up too much space.

    Given that progressives have stated that they have nothing to say to today’s San Franciscans, given that progressives have declined to use their community organizers to organize neighbors, then why not spread around the positions so that we might see if someone new might make a difference other than marking time on the Mayor’s terms?

    As far as teacher housing, 1979 Mission is right on top of Marshall Elementary. That should be a largely teacher transit oriented development project.

    What happens when it turns out that MEDA is a shitty landlord and so many of our public funded housing eggs are owned by their private basket?

    1. Wait a sec, Singh’s on Tenants Together vp, LAFCO and is the SF CLT Board Chair?

      One would imagine that to be granted all of these leadership positions, Singh must have a proven record of winning accomplishment. Are we missing some crucial info here?

      Does Singh have a record of achievement to justify dominating all of these positions, when those positions could be distributed to more people to create broader, deeper capacity amongst SF residents not in the nonprofity world?

      At a certain level, we’re seeing people paid to advocate on our behalf who do not have the record of accomplishment and are in place precisely to inhibit any successful outcomes in our lifetimes.

      My bet is that demographics were sufficient to cow the docile left into larding up her portfolio.

  6. Teaching is hard, and aging is hard. Teacher housing has to have some consideration for retired teachers too so they don’t end up in the street when they retire.
    Thanks to Ms Baskin, Miss Del Amo, Miss Kalil, Miss North, Mrs. Lewis, Mr. Crossley at SFUSD, and especially Don Ryan at CCSF.
    (Back then, Mr. Crossley lived in the S. Van Ness house featured in “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”. Last I heard, he was teaching Spanish to vets in the Yountville home.)