Development team takes on largest affordable housing project in San Francisco’s Mission District

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1979 Mission street
Rendering from Interface Engineering

California Construction News staff writer

The new Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and Mission Housing Development Corporation will lead development of new permanently affordable rental housing at 1979 Mission St. in San Francisco.

“This project will support people living in the Mission and strengthen the surrounding community. We need projects like this across our city, while also working to make it easier to build housing at all income levels in all neighborhoods,” said Mayor London Breed. “I’m excited to see the work that MEDA and Mission Housing will do to build this project and provide hundreds of affordable homes in the heart of the mission.”

The 57,325 sq. ft. site is currently occupied by a vacant commercial building and unutilized surface parking lot. Based on current capacity estimates, the site is expected to deliver approximately 350 new affordable homes serving low-income and formerly homeless households as part of a multi-phase development process. Upon completion of all development phases, 1979 Mission Street will be one of the largest 100% affordable housing projects in San Francisco.

MEDA and Mission Housing, along with partners Caritas Management and Lutheran Social Services, were selected to develop, own, and operate the housing and associated improvements proposed for the project through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued in August 2023.

The RFQ called for a phased development plan that would include two separate buildings serving a broad range of affordable housing needs, including housing for families with dependent children, and permanent supportive housing for small households that are currently unhoused. The development team’s selection was informed by an evaluation by a panel of expert staff, as well as ongoing engagement with Mission-based stakeholders and community leaders.

“What an honor it is for MEDA to be one of the two organizations selected to lead the development for 1979 Mission Street. Working together with Mission Housing on such an extensive development project shows the incredible impact of community advocacy,” said MEDA CEO Luis Granados. “It’s because of the grit and tenacity of our Mission community – specifically the Plaza 16 Coalition – who organized and fought for this site’s development that hundreds of people will one day be able to permanently call San Francisco their home as it is transforms into a 100% affordable housing site. This is an incredible victory. Here’s to the ‘Marvel in the Mission’.”

The selection of the development team represents the beginning of the housing development process. MOHCD will begin working with the development team to determine structural feasibility of developing over the BART station, as well as an initial predevelopment investment to advance architectural design and community engagement. The development team will also partner with MOHCD on securing state, federal, and private resources to fully finance the project.

Pending the availability of necessary gap financing, the first phase of the project may start construction as early as 2026, with residents moving in by the end of 2028.

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