San Francisco receives $130 million in state funding for affordable housing, transportation and infrastructure projects

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Rendering of Potrero Block B (www.ya-studio.com)

San Francisco’s mayor says the city has received more than $130 million in state funding for affordable housing, transportation, and infrastructure projects. More than $80 million in funding will support three affordable housing developments and associated transportation improvements at Potrero Block B, 266 4th Street, and Balboa Park Upper Yard, London Breed said in a July 2 statement.

These three projects are supported by the California Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program with funds from California Climate Investments—Cap-and-Trade Dollars at Work. Additionally, the city was granted $51.7 million in financing for the construction of crucial infrastructure at Sunnydale and Potrero HOPE SF sites, Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island, as well as work related to the BART Plaza redesign at Balboa Park.

“This $130 million in grants from the state could not have come at a more critical time as we continue to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Breed said in the news release. “The funds will allow us to accelerate construction on more than 350 affordable homes and undertake major infrastructure improvements. This will help us free up financing capacity for other badly needed affordable housing developments across San Francisco and put people back to work with well-paying construction jobs.”

The grants for these projects are provided by the California Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC) with funds from California Climate Investments. California Climate Investments is a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

The AHSC funding will support three housing developments. Potrero Block B is part of the HOPE SF revitalization effort, the nation’s first large-scale community development and reparations initiative aimed at creating vibrant, inclusive, mixed-income communities without mass displacement of the original residents. Of the nearly $30 million the project was awarded by AHSC, $20 million will fund the 157-unit affordable housing project developed by BRIDGE which is expected to break ground in summer 2021.

An additional $6 million will fund improvements to the Third Street Transit project as well as bike and pedestrian safety upgrades on Cesar Chavez Street. $1.5 million will fund street improvements on Minnesota Street between 22nd and 25th Streets in partnership with San Francisco Public Works. Potrero Block B was also successful in securing $11.7 million of funding for crucial infrastructure work on site.

266 4th Street will be located on a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)-owned site located directly above the Yerba Buena/Moscone Center SFMTA subway station, which is currently under construction. Of the approximately $20 million the project was awarded by AHSC, $13.6 million will go to fund the 70-unit affordable housing project developed by the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation with half the units designated for formerly homeless families. Additional funding will go to fund transportation projects—approximately $3.3 million will fund the purchase of new BART cars, and approximately $2.7 million will help fund the Better Market Street Project.

Balboa Park Upper Yard will be located on a Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD)-owned site located adjacent to the Balboa BART Station. In addition to 131-units of affordable housing, of which 39 are subsidized by San Francisco Housing Authority, the ground floor of the project boasts almost 10,000 square feet of community space, including an early childhood education center, family resource center and neighborhood-serving serving retail. Construction on the project, developed by Mission Housing and Related California, is expected to begin in spring 2021.

Of the nearly $30 million the project was awarded by AHSC, $20 million will fund the affordable housing component, with an additional $3.3 million allocated to purchase three new BART cars, $5 million to construct the southern Balboa Park BART Plaza and nearly $1.2 million for Ocean Avenue bike and pedestrian safety improvements, in partnership with the SFMTA. In addition, the Balboa Park Upper Yard project successfully secured an additional $3.5 million from the State grant to fully fund the BART Plaza redevelopment.

The Treasure Island Development Authority, a city agency, was awarded a $30 million State grant to widen a key segment of Hillcrest Road on Yerba Buena. The road project will dramatically improve access to the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge for current and future Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island residents and provide a dedicated eastbound lane that will serve new AC Transit bus service to and from Oakland. The project will be integrated with other roadway and ramp improvements planned or currently under construction by Treasure Island Community Development and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority to enhance transit and traffic circulation.

Sunnydale Block 3B was awarded $6.5 million for the construction of infrastructure by the state grant for the next phase of Sunnydale HOPE SF, further decreasing the City’s contribution to these crucial infrastructure improvements on site. Once complete, Block 3B will be a mixed-use family residential project, developed by Mercy Housing and Related California, with ground floor community serving spaces and retail located at the intersection of Sunnydale Avenue and Hahn Street. The project will contain 92 units of affordable family housing, including 69 set aside as public housing replacement units subsidized by Project Based Section 8 Vouchers from the San Francisco Housing Authority.

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