Last week, the city created a major funding opportunity aimed at supporting neighborhood economic and business development; grants will be distributed to groups that propose innovative solutions to some of San Francisco’s most pressing issues.
The Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s request for proposals (RFP) seeks ideas from nonprofits and for-profit companies that will support business, economic, and workforce development in various neighborhoods.
OEWD is offering grants for marketing and activating neighborhoods and/or attracting new or supporting existing businesses via the following:
- $385,000 for neighborhood events, facade improvement, and beautification plans
- $40,000 for parklet development
- $250,000 for residential and merchant engagement programs
- $800,000 for business development projects
- $610,000 for workforce development proposals
Among specific projects sought through the RFP, OEWD and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development are soliciting proposals from consultants that would weigh the costs and benefits of a modular housing production facility within city limits.
The initiative would create shelters for homeless residents that could be erected on city-owned property that is not otherwise salable.
The first phase of the proposal should include plans for meeting with city staff and determining what it would take to develop such a modular housing production facility in San Francisco.
The second phase would focus on developing a business plan for the facility. The city is offering up to $70,000 for the modular production facility study.
The study comes after plans to allow similar modular developments for homeless housing were approved in Berkeley and Oakland last year. San Francisco at the time was not considering allowing modular homeless housing.
One of San Francisco's largest concerns associated with modular units was having to bring in prefab housing from out of the country, instead of using the opportunity to create jobs.
The research project funded by this RFP could determine whether San Francisco can support a facility to develop its own modular homeless housing rather than importing it from elsewhere.
It is still not clear where the city might host such modular homeless housing opportunities.
The workforce development projects funds available will be split between programs offering skills training for jobs at single-room occupancy hotels and restaurants in the Tenderloin and those proving apprenticeships, training, and placement support for TechSF, a city-sponsored program aimed at advance anyone interested in a technology career.
The RFP includes very specific details about the types of projects the city and county are soliciting and the information needed to best evaluate proposals. All proposals must be submitted by 5pm on Monday, February 26th.
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