City and County officials will join Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and BRIDGE Housing at 12:00 noon today to celebrate the renewal of 255 Woodside, a 109-unit affordable rental community for seniors and residents with disabilities. The free community celebration, part of the Council of Community Housing Organizations’ Affordable Housing Week, will take place at 255 Woodside Avenue, San Francisco.
255 Woodside was revitalized under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program, which was created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and championed by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. The program leverages private capital to preserve and improve public housing and address a multibillion-dollar nationwide backlog of deferred maintenance.
Co-developers BRIDGE and MEDA oversaw an extensive rehabilitation of residents’ apartments as well as community spaces, focusing on life-safety upgrades and modernization efforts to improve resident life. Under the provisions of the RAD program, no residents were displaced, all residents moved back into their revitalized apartments, and all continue to pay 30% of their income for rent. Revitalized amenities include two elevators, a spacious community room and a laundry room. The property has access to public transportation, with well-utilized bus lines offering frequent service throughout San Francisco.
“The restoration and rehabilitation of 255 Woodside is another key step in our City’s commitment to preserving affordable housing options for seniors and individuals living with disabilities,” said Mayor Mark Farrell. “If we want to address the housing crisis in our City and keep longtime residents in their homes, we must continue to work collaboratively with our public and private partners on projects like this that meet the specific needs of the community.”
“Today’s rededication is a timely reminder of the importance of preserving affordable housing in San Francisco,” said HUD’s Director in the Office of Public and Indian Housing, Gerard Windt. “Thanks to HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration and the great work of BRIDGE Housing, the Mission Economic Development Agency and all other partners, over 100 senior San Franciscans will continue to call their now renovated apartment at 255 Woodside home for many years to come.”
“We are thrilled to add 255 Woodside to our Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) portfolio and grateful to BRIDGE, MEDA and all of the tenants for everything they’ve done to create such a beautiful outcome for the Midtown Terrace neighborhood,” said Kate Hartley, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.
“Financing all 29 properties of SF RAD, the largest affordable housing renovation project in the nation, with $2.1 Billion from Bank of America Merrill Lynch is no small feat, especially with the goal of not displacing vulnerable tenants like the seniors and disabled households at 255 Woodside. The modernizing and life-safety upgrades to improve the quality of life for these residents helps fulfill the landmark vision began by former Mayor Ed Lee and makes us all proud to be part of such an important public-private effort,” said Ari Beliak, Senior Vice President, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Community Development Bank. To help ease the transition during renovation periods for residents, an additional $2.8 million from Bank of America helps fund social services, wellness activities and other resources for SF RAD properties such as 255 Woodside.
“Redefining public housing was our goal — and this goal has been met,” said Luis Granados, Executive Director of MEDA. “That is quite clear looking around at this beautiful property and a community that has bonded.”
Cynthia Parker, President and CEO of BRIDGE, said: “The RAD program in San Francisco is transforming public housing, infusing millions of dollars into the rehabilitation of these homes and bolstering resident services that will enrich the lives of many of our most vulnerable community members. We are especially grateful to the late Mayor Lee for his ambitious vision and commitment to affordable housing.”
The rehabilitation architect was Barcelon Jang Architecture and FineLine Construction was the general contractor. Financial partners included the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, San Francisco Housing Authority, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, Freddie Mac and Enterprise Community Partners. Through a ground lease with the Housing Authority, the MEDA and BRIDGE partnership will own and operate the building and preserve its deep affordability for the long term.
Expected speakers at today’s celebration include: Mayor Mark Farrell, City and County of San Francisco; Supervisor Norman Yee, District 7, City and County of San Francisco; Eduardo Cabrera, Region IX Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Barbara Smith, Acting Executive Director, SFHA; Luis Granados, Executive Director, MEDA; Smitha Seshadri, Senior Vice President, BRIDGE Housing; Heidi Racherla, SVP, Enterprise Business and Community Engagement Market Manager, Bank of America; 255 Woodside resident Diane Rose.