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San Francisco 15-story affordable senior housing project to cost $157M

The housing project would rise 15 stories and provide 187 affordable homes that would be prioritized for seniors living with HIV or AIDS. | Courtesy Paulett Taggart Architects

A 15-story affordable housing project could be destined for San Francisco’s Mint Hill neighborhood, planning documents show.

The planned 100% affordable housing project for 1939 Market St. would build 187 homes for low-income seniors, rising to 159 feet containing roughly 141,630 square feet of living space, according to plans filed with the city. 

The project would also contain retail space on the ground floor and 1,590 of open space.

The homes will vary in size but will mostly be small, with the project containing 106 studios, 80 one-bedrooms and one two-bedroom apartment.

The new building would occupy the former San Francisco offices of the Sheet Metal Workers' Local Union No. 104. The building was purchased by the city in February 2020 for $12 million.

Rents will be affordable at between 15% and 60% of the Area Median Income.  

BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Seniors

The 159-foot-tall housing project would include ground-floor retail space in addition to affordable homes. | Courtesy Paulett Taggart Architects

Housing placements will focus on seniors living with HIV or AIDS, according to Mayor's Office of Housing spokesperson Anne Stanley. 

Nonprofit housing developer Mercy Housing is building the project, its spokesperson, Rosalyn Sternberg said in an email that the development is open to all seniors who qualify.

“The development is designed to be welcoming of BIPOC and LGBTQ+-identifying seniors, but all interested seniors who meet age and income requirements will be encouraged to apply,” said Sternberg.

Mercy Housing has applied to expedite the construction under SB 35, the California law which allows streamlined approval for projects with a certain amount of affordable housing.

San Francisco-based nonprofit Openhouse SF will provide services in the building alongside Mercy Housing including case management, care navigation, mental health support, grocery delivery and cooking classes.

Openhouse SF executive director Kathleen Sullivan said in an email to The Standard that LGBTQ+ seniors in San Francisco experience higher levels of poverty and are disabled at higher rates than the general population. She said they are also the fastest growing group of unhoused people in the city. 

Sternberg said loss of family and health complications add to housing insecurity for LGBTQ+ seniors.

According to a website about the project, construction is expected to begin in May or June 2024 and be completed in May or June 2026.