Mission Bay Housing For Homeless Vets And Low-Income FamiliesApril 21, 2015
A request for proposals to build and manage up to 101 apartments for formerly homeless veterans and low-income families on the eastern half of Mission Bay Block 3, which fronts Third Street between Mission Rock and Long Bridge, is slated to be released in two days (April 23).
As envisioned by the City, the 1150 Third Street site, which is zoned for development up to 65-feet in height, will be developed with 50 one-bedrooms for formerly homeless veterans, and 50 units for low-income families earning up to 60 percent of the area median income.
The apartments for the families would be a mix of 30 two-bedrooms and 20 threes, with two-bedrooms averaging 900 square feet and the threes around 1,100. The one-bedrooms should average around 540 square feet.
Onsite supportive services are required to be incorporated into the development. And while proposals could include up to one parking space per unit, “a lower parking ratio is recommended.”
Responses to the RFP will be due on June 24. The winning team should be identified by late summer. And the ground for the 1150 Third Street development is expected to be broken in early 2017, with the building ready for occupancy by the end of 2018.
The 147-unit “Venue” sits on the western half of Mission Bay Block 3, fronting Fourth Street.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
Are there any details how the lot is split up? If indeed the lot is split in half, the market-rate “Venue” has almost 50% more units. Why not have a comparable number in the subsidized housing building?
Dammit. It seems to me that one major factor (if not the principal factor) responsible for the unsanitary conditions and unsafe atmosphere of Market, Mission, the TL, and SOMA is the placement of so many submarket housing units in the dead center of the city. Instead of creating a safe, clean, inviting, vibrant, and productive environment, projects like this one just replicate the dynamic of, say, Market/Mission at 6th in other parts of the city.
That is the difference 1000’s of units in SRO’s make vs. this single building that will have on-site counseling for the vets and BMR families. No comparison at all when you realize how many SROs there are around Mission & 16th and the TL.
It wasn’t meant as a comparison; my point wasn’t that this structure by itself would replicate Mission/Market. That’s absurd. To use an objectionable metaphor, a cancer grows from a single cell, and San Francisco, unlike other cities, seems to be immunocompromised. I would support this sort of project in well-run municipalities, e.g. Hennepin County, but not SF.
In any case, I haven’t seen much information on any wraparound services (the post is vague). I agree that onsite counseling, etc., is critical, and building SROs and low-income housing with full support services is indispensable.
I’m with Gribble. I read your first comment to mean that the dense packing of “submarket housing” leads to problems. But this single building does [not] create that phenomenon.
If anything, this project seems to achieve your own stated goals, since it is decentralizing this kind of housing, and better integrating it into a more varied neighborhood.
Mercy Housing is just a stones throw away from this proposed development: Developed by Mercy Housing which will manage the property and provide on-site supportive services for the tenants, the $55 million development will serve low-income, very low income, and formerly homeless individuals and families.
There are a few other projects in Mission Bay that are very similar, specifically the yet to be built blocks 6 and 7. In total, about 35% of Mission Bay South is subsidized housing. If you excluded middle income BMR, then about 15 to 20% of Mission Bay South is dedicated to homeless or low income people. Surprisingly, unlike Mercy housing, the development on block 6 is not earmarked for low income residents with families (it can be anyone).
The trouble with these sort of projects (as opposed to just building, building, building until rents start dropping) is that only a select few get to live here. (Getting one of these units below market units is like getting into Harvard) If you could get a studio or one bedroom for $700 a month, as you can in many cities, there would be little need for special low income projects.
The Harvard analogy might be too generous. At least when you’re applying to Harvard you can actively improve your odds of acceptance. To my knowledge, that isn’t the case here.
In NYC, the poor door building has 88,000 applicants for 55 units. These types of programs create step functions between the haves and the have-nots within a given demographic group. It’s an insane way to help people.
Holy hell. Thank you for linking that NYT article.
To be fair, people in the wealthy half want different things out of a building than those in the poor half. The wealthy half wants and is willing to pay for amenities and upgrades. People in the poor half may not have the fianances to pay several thousand out of pocket at a moments notice because an assessment needs to be made in order to repair something non vital.
It seems unfair upfront, but surely this is better than just building something for them away in some isolated ghetto. Presumably it could allow them to build more units total due to efficiency.
And that’s why offsite BMR is optimal…
The step function I’m talking about isn’t within the building. What I mean is that 55 people will get what they want and 87,945 people will get nothing.
Imagine if we ran any other government program like this. The first 5 homeless people in the door get to eat hundreds of dollars worth of food, the next 1900 get nothing. Or medicare, 5 people get infinite scans and drugs and doctors visits and the next 1000 get no health care at all.
This isn’t the solution to a housing shortage, this is a lottery. And even if we repeat it 100 times, it’s still not a solution, it’s 100 lotteries. We’d probably be better off with system improvements like better regional transit, making sure that no one’s commute is more than an hour. But these housing lotteries reduce value by hundreds of millions of dollars and they do absolutely nothing for the people who don’t win.
I’m not ready to argue this point yet, but it seems like it might make more sense to double the capacity of BART to Oakland and beyond and improve transit options to Daly City and then let SF become as expensive as it can, keep the taxes high, and keep pouring them into regional improvements. We might lose the illusion of living in a mixed income city, but the benefit would be better housing and mobility for everyone and not just the 1% – no not the richest 1%, but rather the people who win housing lotteries.
Brilliant. I always knew that if we threw more money at the homeless they would stop flocking to our city.
How do they guarantee that a “homeless vet” is actually a vet?
Duh, that’s easy. They check with the VA, or the vet has to show a form DD214 which is the standard form with details of their discharge status, when and where they served, etc.
So it’s for moderately functioning homeless vets. It would be great to get the deranged delirious and delusional without a pot to pee in off the street.. the ones who don’t even know their own names.
There is such a thing as research. Just because they’re homeless doesn’t mean they don’t have an ID for god sake. I’m assuming it is not difficult to verify a claim of veteran’s status.
True. There are numerous benefits available to vets, all the way to a burial space. All of those agencies look for the person’s discharge status for eligibility.
If I were a vet I’d be embarrassed to have risked my life for people who think I’m human garbage and undeserving of a place to live.
It’s very simple, no one “deserves” to be provided with a home when someone else is forced to pay for it.
Perhaps you and other “compassionate” individuals like yourself should pool your own funds and provide housing for everyone who can’t afford it, rather than belittle those who don’t share your views on charity?
People don’t think vets are human garbage. People think criminals and drug addicts are human garbage. The real embarrassment is that the society who converts sane and functional individuals to killing machines doesn’t invest in converting them back into sane and functional individuals if they survive. Once they’ve descended into human garbage it’s a whole different problem, one that housing isn’t going to solve. At least this is just across the street from the new SFPD HQ for when the “onsite supportive services” fail.
Great point, it is great that they are receiving support. Likewise for the family housing development on block 7 that will support families of sick children.
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