Program Creates Funding For Affordable Rental Units

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SAN FRANCISCO—On Monday, August 11, SF Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced funding availability for the acquisition and rehabilitation financing for the multi-family rental buildings of 5-25 units from the new Small Sites Program.

According to a press release from the Mayor’s website, the funds are expected to stabilize buildings that are being occupied by low to moderate income tenants in the City that are susceptible to evictions and increasing rents. Three million dollars have already been made accessible to the fund, with more money to be released during the first-year of the program.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) to acquire and rehabilitate financing under the Small Sites Program.

“Properties supported by this revenue must be 100 percent rental residential buildings located in the City. Buildings at immediate risk for Ellis Act eviction or in the process of an Ellis Act eviction will be given priority,” states the press release.

The program is aimed at current tenants who have a building Area Median Income (AMI) of 80 percent. The program is aimed to protect residents from being displaced, regardless of income and the building’s participation in the Small Sites Program.

“Real estate speculation and rising rents have contributed to displacement of San Franciscans across our City,” said Mayor Lee. “We need to stabilize our neighborhoods that are vulnerable to gentrification and expand the safety net for San Franciscans at risk of eviction and displacement. This program is a part of our comprehensive plan to protect and stabilize our housing stock. With the purchase of already occupied units, we can preserve their affordability over the long-term. The Small Sites Program offers a way to create certainty for our longtime San Francisco families and rent-controlled households, ensuring they have a safe, affordable place to live well into the future.”

The Small Sites Program is funded by a combination of the Housing Trust Fund revenues and affordable housing fees paid by housing developers in San Francisco. MOHCD is required to set aside 10 percent of affordable housing fees obtained to assist acquisition and rehabilitation of properties consisting of less than 25 units. Applicants to the program can be non-profit or for-profit corporation that is capable of entering into contract with the City and can display the technical capacity and experience to acquire, rehabilitate, own and manage affordable housing.

Protecting tenants is about the Mayor’s seven point housing plan, that the Mayor and State Senator Mark Leno laid out earlier this year with legislation that closed a loophole in the Ellis Act that gave speculators the opportunity to purchase rent-controlled buildings in San Francisco and evict long-term tenants.

To obtain more information on the Small Sites Program and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, go to: http://www.sfmohcd.org/.

By LaDale Anderson