Wet conditions didn’t damper the spirit of Thursday’s groundbreaking at 1150 3rd Street as more than 50 people attended a ceremony to begin construction of a new affordable housing development that will benefit 62 veterans and 56 low-income families in San Francisco.
The project is a joint effort from Swords to Plowshares, Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC) and the San Francisco Office of Investment and Infrastructure, with special financing from the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention (VHHP) program.
A redevelopment project over 10 years in the making, this project marks the first housing site in the city that will serve a dual purpose of housing both formerly homeless veterans and low-income families in a shared location.
“Mission Bay is a shining star in the VHHP program because it shows how projects should come together and move forward in receiving VHHP funds and progressing into completed housing for our homeless,” said CalVet Deputy Secretary for Home Loans Theresa Gunn. “Mission Bay is a recipient of the third round of VHHP funds, which were awarded less than nine months ago, and here we stand breaking ground for the erection of these homes today.”
With the groundbreaking of this site in Mission Bay, the City and County of San Francisco moved closer to the goal of ending veterans’ homelessness. The development, which is slated to open in late 2019, will offer comprehensive on-site supportive services and provide housing to nine percent of the city’s veterans currently experiencing homelessness.
“We are grateful to the late Mayor Lee who made this plot of land available to Swords to Plowshares and Chinatown Community Development Center,” said Michael Blecker, Swords to Plowshares’ executive director. “Collaborative efforts to ending veteran homelessness have led to a significant reduction in the number of chronically homeless veterans. This project is another critical step to getting our most vulnerable veterans housed.”
During the ceremony, San Francisco interim Mayor Mark Farrell dedicated the site to former Mayor Edwin Lee, and proclaimed that upon completion, the building will be named after him.
“Today we are doing right by our veteran residents and lending a hand to struggling low-income families who deserve to call our city home,” said Farrell. “This project moves us one step closer to bringing chronic veterans homelessness in our city to an end and I can think of no better tribute than to dedicate this new development to Mayor Lee, a man who spent his life uplifting those in need.”
For more information about the project, please click here.
Proposition 41, passed in 2014, authorized $600 million in bond proceeds to fund supportive, transitional, and affordable housing for veterans experiencing homelessness or are at-risk of homelessness. The resulting legislation created the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention program, where CalVet, California Housing and Community Development, and California Housing Finance Agency collaborate to award $75 million annually through a competitive award process.
California Department of Veterans Affairs – CalVet’s mission is to serve all of California’s veterans and their families. With nearly 1.7 million veterans living in the state, CalVet strives to ensure that veterans of every era, and their families, get the state and federal benefits and services they have earned as a result of selfless and honorable military service. VHHP communities are one way we assist veterans and their families achieve their highest quality of life. To learn more on how CalVet assists veterans, visit www.CalVet.ca.gov.
Swords to Plowshares – Founded in 1974, Swords to Plowshares is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that provides counseling and case management, rapid re-housing and eviction prevention services, employment and training, supportive housing, and legal benefits assistance for low-income, homeless and at-risk veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area. Swords to Plowshares promotes and protects the rights of veterans through advocacy, public education, and partnerships with local, state and national entities. Learn more here: http://www.stp-sf.org.
Chinatown Community Development Center – Founded in 1977, Chinatown CDC’s goal is to build affordable housing, develop grassroots leadership, and empower low-income residents and youth for civic engagement in San Francisco. Chinatown CDC own and/or manage 25 properties in San Francisco, totaling 2,500 units of affordable housing for nearly 3,000 low-income seniors, formerly homeless adults, and families. Learn more at http://www.chinatowncdc.org/
California Housing and Community Development – Cal HCD is dedicated to the preservation and expansion of safe and affordable housing so more Californians have a place to call home. Our team works to ensure an adequate supply of housing for Californians and promotes the growth of strong communities through its leadership, policy and program development. For more information, visit www.HCD.ca.gov.
California Housing Finance Agency – For more than 40 years, CalHFA has supported the needs of renters and homebuyers by providing financing and programs so more low to moderate income Californians have a place to call home. Established in 1975, CalHFA was chartered as the state’s affordable housing lender. The Agency’s Multifamily Division finances affordable rental housing through partnerships with jurisdictions, developers and more, while its Single Family Division provides first mortgage loans and down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers. Learn more at www.CalHFA.ca.gov.