In San Francisco, where the cost of living is among the highest in the country, educators and other public service workers struggle to afford to live in the community where they work. Salaries have not kept up with rising costs, and workers have been forced to move outside of the city or turn to other professions entirely. Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) is a local organization that works to build Latino prosperity, community ownership and civic power in San Francisco. To better understand and address the housing issue for educators, MEDA engaged United Educators San Francisco, the local chapter of the teachers’ union. Their top priority was to enable teachers to live and work in the same city as the students they teach.
MEDA saw a prime location to create affordable housing for San Francisco teachers when a building that was centrally located in the Mission District came on the market. 2205 Mission Street was originally priced for 100% luxury housing and would have become another housing development that was unattainable for most of the city’s workforce. Instead, MEDA was able to purchase the building and secure the prime corner of Mission Street. The organization plans to revitalize the building and create 63 two- and three-bedroom affordable units for San Francisco teachers.
A project of this magnitude requires substantial upfront costs, so MEDA contacted NeighborWorks Capital to discuss financing options to get the project to the start of construction. They ultimately secured a $1,500,000 predevelopment loan to fund project related soft costs including architectural services, engineering, permit fees, and other carrying costs, and to refinance a portion of MEDA’s investment to date. NeighborWorks Capital is proud to provide a lending solution that can further MEDA’s mission and impact in San Francisco’s Mission District.
At the direction of MEDA and with support from its partners, 2205 Mission Street will provide intergenerational wealth-building opportunities for San Francisco’s educators and serve as a model for San Francisco workforce housing by addressing the needs of households earning just above the maximum to qualify for low-income programs yet earning too little to pay market rate.