Mayor’s Office Adds Newly Built Rent Control Units to Housing Market in Groundbreaking Partnership
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Mayor’s Office Adds Newly Built Rent Control Units to Housing Market in Groundbreaking Partnership

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For the first time in at least 21 years, new construction permanently rent controlled units with just cause eviction protections will be added to city’s housing stock

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced a groundbreaking new housing development in the Excelsior District that will create 50% of the units as new permanently rent-controlled with just cause eviction protections and the remaining 50% of the units permanently set aside as affordable housing for low, moderate and middle income households. The development is entirely privately financed.

The 52 newly created rent control apartments will be the first of its kind to be added to the City’s housing stock since the passage of the state law Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995 – which largely restricts the ability of local jurisdictions to impose rent control on buildings built after 1995. In this case, the city is able to make use of the law’s exemptions in order to provide new rent controlled units.

“This is an historic agreement that will offer more than 100 families affordable housing in perpetuity,” said Mayor Lee. “The challenge working and middle class families have in finding affordable housing requires us to consistently look for opportunities with developers willing to work out-of-the-box. This is a unique situation where the City and a developer’s goal, to give back to the City and its residents, are aligned.”

The 103 unit development will be built at 915-917 Cayuga, currently an underutilized warehouse site, owned by SST Investments. The developer has committed to provide 50% of units to be permanently low to middle income units and the remaining 50% of units to be permanently rent-controlled in return for the ability to build an additional 24 units without raising the height limit. To achieve this, a development agreement will be executed between the City and the developer; negotiations will be led by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD).
“This country, and San Francisco in particular, has done so much for me and my family since we arrived over 35 years ago, and I want to give back to the community that gave me so much,” said Siavash Tahbazof of SST Investments, LLC. “I came to this country with very little and was lucky to catch a few breaks that helped me succeed. Hopefully this building can be that break another young family needs to propel themselves to a better life.”

In April 2016, SST Investments, with help of community activist Ahsha Safai, approached the City in hopes of crafting an innovative project to deal with housing affordability issues. With the proposed increase in density, SST Investments will be able to develop:

Of the total 103 units, 68 units will be set aside as two or three bedroom units.
25% of the units for low and moderate income residents (15% of the units at 55% AMI or $1,333 a month’s rent for a 2-bedroom, 10% of the units at 80% AMI or $1939 a month for a 2-bedroom)
An additional 25% of the units at middle income levels (120% of AMI or $2,909 a month rent for a 2-bedroom).
The remaining 50% of units will be permanently rent-controlled with just cause eviction protections

“This community has really come together to fight for housing for our working families,” said community activist Ahsha Safaí, who worked with SST and the City. “This project is a first of its kind in San Francisco, if not the entire state, and it will deliver by creating more than 50% of the units as affordable homes for working people.”

A series of community meetings will be conducted to incorporate neighborhood input on the project. The development will go through the environmental review process and should be before the Planning Commission tentatively in Winter 2017.

“OEWD is on the front lines of creating affordable housing for all San Franciscans and we are delighted to begin working to ink this agreement with SST Investments to provide a new development with 100% below-market and rent-controlled units,” said Todd Rufo, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “Mayor Lee has tasked us with looking for any and all opportunities to go above and beyond on affordable housing and in this case the project economics with a density bonus and a civic-minded developer have combined to give us the opportunity to create a unique outcome for the neighborhood.”

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