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SF’s New 18-Story 100% Affordable Housing in SOMA Breaks Ground

921 Howard Street will provide 100% affordable housing to 201 San Francisco families
By - posted 8/27/2021 No Comment

Mayor London N. Breed today celebrated the groundbreaking of a new 18-story 100% affordable housing complex in the South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood. The development at 921 Howard Street will be one of the largest affordable housing projects seen in San Francisco in the last decade, with 40% of the units set aside for current SOMA residents or residents who reside within a half-mile of the project per the City’s Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference.

The development advances the City’s strategy for economic recovery, which is centered around new job creation and investing in infrastructure that ensures San Francisco’s post-COVID-19 economy emerges more equitable and resilient than before. The construction of the project is expected to create 1,000 union jobs, building on the City’s economic recovery plan.

The project at 921 Howard dates back to December 2007, which at the time, was a joint venture between Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) and Citizens Housing Corporation (“Citizens”). The joint venture responded to and was selected by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) through a Family Housing Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) during which they proposed a 9-story family development with 134 units.

The proposed project involved assembling ten parcels totaling 32,000 square feet. In 2009, Citizens wound down its operations and TNDC acquired Citizens’ portfolio, including the site, which they then took the lead in developing. 921 Howard entails the development of approximately 63% of the original 32,000 square foot site. Construction of the project faced delays due to the 2008 financial crisis as well as a number of proposed building designs and concepts that did not come to fruition. New funding sources from the State, combined with 2019 Affordable Housing Bond funds approved by the voters, are now allowing the project to move forward.

Curtis Development, a local developer with decades of experience, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with TNDC in February 2021 to serve as co-developer for the project.

Built with families and children in mind, amenities at 921 Howard will include a community garden, a number of shared common spaces, bicycle parking, and after-school programming for students. The development will seek a GreenPoint Rated certification, and contractors involved in construction will partner with local, BIPOC-owned, or women-owned businesses.

The apartments at 921 Howard will be affordable to households with a range of incomes between 75-120% Area Median Income (AMI). Once complete, the building will consist of 201 affordable studios, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom homes, as well as two additional on-site units for building managers.

The 18-story building is designed by Perry Architects, and Swinerton Builders is the lead general contractor. Construction started in June 2021, and residents are anticipated to begin moving in Spring 2023, once the building is complete.

Major financing for 921 Howard was provided by an $18.2 million investment for building construction from MOHCD, enabling the $148.5 million project to move forward. In addition to the City’s investment, the development was made possible by financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the California Housing Finance Agency Middle Income Program, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee.

Read more at Office of the Mayor.