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City to Reopen Downtown Hotel as Permanent Low-Income Housing Stock

Written by Matt CharnockPublished Oct. 25, 2021 • 5:32pm

Having served as one of the first shelter-in-place hotels for unhoused individuals in the pandemic, the city plans to turn the Abigail Hotel at 246 McAllister Street into a permanent housing site with at least 59 units.

San Francisco is leasing the Abigail Hotel and plans to subsidize the units, and tapped the Tenderloin Housing Clinic—a major provider of affordable and single room occupancy housing in the city, with a portfolio of 24 properties—to oversee day-to-day operations. 

Abigail Hotel will join the city’s portfolio of “Step-Up Housing,” intended as a more independent living environment compared to service-intensive permanent supportive housing units. San Francisco currently operates about 400 units under the step-up housing program; the Abigail Hotel’s yet-to-open 59 affordable housing units will increase that stock by nearly 15 percent.

“We know that housing is the solution to homelessness, and the Abigail Hotel will provide people with histories of homelessness with a permanent place to live and will allow people newly transitioning off the streets access to supportive housing,” said Mayor Breed on Monday.

Historically, the Abigail Hotel was a single-occupancy hotel for low-income individuals since first opening its doors in 1925. Tenderloin Housing Clinic secured the 62-unit dwelling for the preservation of the hotel’s residential status back in the 1980s. The city described the Abigail Hotel as an ideal environment for step-up housing because of its private bathrooms, community space and other amenities. 

During the pandemic, the Abigail Hotel was one of 25 hotel sites used as temporary housing for homeless individuals in San Francisco to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The city placed about 3,800 people in shelter-in-place hotels or trailers throughout the pandemic, and the city says it has rehoused more than 2,000 of those guests so far. Along with other sites, the city began winding down the Abigail Hotel as shelter-in-place housing in June 2021.

The Abigail Hotel conversion is part of a broader reshuffling of the city’s low-income housing stock in response to the pandemic, and as part of an effort to place more homeless individuals in permanent housing. 

The city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) also carved out a series of deals to buy underused hotels or housing sites for permanent supportive housing. Those sites include The Panoramic, a micro-apartment complex in South of Market, The Mission Inn in the Outer Mission, and the Eula Hotel at 3061 16th Street in the Mission District.

"The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) regularly seeks proposals from organizations interested in contracting with the department to provide support services, shelter and housing to people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco," said Deborah Bouck, a spokesperson for HSH.

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