HUD Grants to Benefit People with Disabilities in SF

HUD has awarded two 811 funding grants to help make possible the development of a pair of permanent supportive Mercy Arc Housing residences for non-elderly adults with developmental disabilities in San Francisco.

San Francisco—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded two 811 funding grants to help make possible the development of a pair of permanent supportive Mercy Arc Housing residences for non-elderly adults with developmental disabilities in San Francisco. The announcement was made earlier this week by Mercy Housing California (MHC) and The Arc San Francisco.

“The need in San Francisco for this type of housing with rent subsidies is huge,” Barbara Gualco, director of housing development for Mercy Housing California, tells MHN. She reports more than 975 individuals in San Francisco alone are eligible to live in such housing units.

The 811 awards include both capital funding and rent subsidies, Gualco points out. That means that in addition to a capital award to construct and adaptively re-use actual buildings, the rent subsidies will ensure that residents will only have to pay 30 percent of their incomes in rent.

One of the two developments will be a mixed-use community to be built at 200 Sixth St. in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, for which a $2.3 million capital advance was awarded. The integrated, 67-unit nine-story mid-rise will include 14 apartments for adults with developmental disabilities, among them adults with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism, who are capable of living independently in a supported environment.

A second plan proposed by MHC and The Arc and awarded HUD financing is the refurbishment of the 1500 Page St. historic building in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury. After a complete renovation, this building will be adaptively reused as a 16-unit development for very low-income adults with developmental disabilities. This building will feature a community room, library, computer and exercise rooms, laundry rooms on alternating floors and residence for a live-in manager

According to Gualco, the two developments will need additional capital funding. This is likely to include additional funding from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of housing, and equity generated from low-income tax credits.

The 200 Sixth St. structure is to integrate 811 units into a larger, affordable family community, Gualco reports. “Historically, HUD 811s have stood alone as developments serving populations with special needs,” she adds. “So 200 Sixth St. represents a new model for providing supportive housing for adults with development disabilities . . . This represents an exciting new way to provide quality, affordable housing for persons with special needs.”

The adaptive reuse of the historic 1500 Page St. will present what Gualco calls “inherent design and program challenges,” particularly given the limited budget available for the project. “However, it’s a great building, in a fantastic neighborhood that really lends itself to residential re-use of the small units that are being proposed,” she observes. “Additionally, the building has been through both the California and Federal Environmental review processes, which really enables us to move forward quickly.”