San Francisco has brokered a deal with the federal General Services Administration (GSA) to purchase a parking lot at 1064-1068 Mission Street to build 250 units of housing for formerly homeless residents. The new construction will also dedicate 100 of the units for houseless seniors.
“When it comes to finding housing for people formerly living on the street, we will pursue any and every avenue imaginable, and this is the latest example of that commitment,” Mayor Ed Lee told the Chronicle in a statement.
Jeff Kositsky, director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, previously told the Chronicle that the project would “greatly improve the city’s ability to get people off the streets and back on their feet.”
“We know what works to end homelessness,” Kositsky added. “These additional new units of permanent supportive housing will move us closer to making homelessness in San Francisco rare, brief and nonrecurring.”
The property, which is adjacent to the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals at Mission and 7th streets, will be leased by the city for three years until construction plans can be finalized and funding is secured.
The city values the property at $36 million, but due to the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (1987), the GSA can sell property to local governments to use for homeless services for a fraction of the price. In this case, the city will buy the site for $1.
Because the units will be for the formerly houseless, an array of services will be provided on site, such as case management, mental health assistance and transitional support.
Amy Farah Weiss, founder of Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge and former mayoral candidate, told Hoodline she applauds the Mayor and those involved in getting the deal with the GSA to move forward to develop more affordable and supportive housing exits from the streets and shelter system.
But Weiss said there needs to be immediate support for houseless residents while construction is ongoing.
"It is also of great importance for [the Mayor] and his administration to immediately address and heal the substandard living conditions and public health hazards of the hundreds of people living in unsanctioned encampments throughout San Francisco neighborhoods," Weiss said.
"We hope the Mayor joins the Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge in our work to develop and pilot humane, cost-effective, and outcome-driven approaches for organized alternatives to unsanctioned encampments while the City builds and rehabs more stable exits."
Construction is slated to begin in 2019 after the completion of a 90-day environmental assessment, approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and a sign-off from the GSA.
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