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Hundreds of affordable housing units at risk after SVB collapse

Construction of an affordable housing building with 70 units at 180 Jones St. in San Francisco has been delayed by the closure of Silicon Valley Bank, officials said. | Google Streetivew

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect new information from the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation.

The implosion of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is expected to delay the construction and completion of almost 500 new units of affordable housing in San Francisco, officials said Monday.

Three projects are in active construction, and one is completed but ineligible to receive public funding for operations. Another project near Civic Center was put on ice as its loan with SVB was supposed to close the same day the bank shut down, according to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

The list of affordable housing projects in the works that have ties to city-funded nonprofits and Silicon Valley Bank include:

  • 1360 43rd Ave. (Shirley Chisholm Village) – 135 units
  • 180 Jones St. – 70 units
  • 78 Haight St. – 63 units
  • 55 Cravath St., Treasure Island (Maceo May) – 104 units
  • 234 Van Ness Ave. (The Kelsey) – 112 units
Construction on a new affordable housing building with 63 units at 78 Haight St. in San Francisco is on hold, officials said. | Google Street View

Shirley Chisholm Village, the largest of the five affected projects, broke ground late last summer and is aiming for completion by summer 2024, city officials said. It is being built by MidPen Housing Corporation.

There is some “buffer time,” officials said, as the project will be able to use city funds to continue construction. But delays will likely occur if the loan goes through a lengthy process of being transferred to another financial institution.

MidPen officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The projects on Jones and Haight streets are both being built by the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that partners with the city.

On Wednesday, Charles Purdy, a marketing manager for the nonprofit, said that the Haight Street project is "on pause due to issues completely unrelated to funding," while the Jones Street project is not on pause.

“We have been in contact with the bank, but we don’t have any information on what this means for our loans,” Purdy said earlier in the week.

A worker, center, tells people at Silicon Valley Bank's headquarters that the company has closed on March 10, 2023 in Santa Clara. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Mercy Housing California was supposed to finalize its $52 million loan with SVB on Friday, but that obviously got shelved after the bank shuttered that morning.

The Maceo May Apartments project on Treasure Island, which was built by nonprofits Swords to Ploughshares and the Chinatown Community Development Center, is unique in that construction has been completed. 

However, the project can’t receive public funding for operations until all contractors have been paid through SVB loans, according to the mayor's housing office.

On Friday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was appointed as Silicon Valley Bank’s receiver. Two days later, the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and FDIC said that the bank’s clients would be protected and able to access their money.

Loans for active nonprofit affordable housing projects in San Francisco “will likely not be continued through SVB and instead will either be bought by other financial institutions, or project sponsors will negotiate new loan agreements with alternate lenders,” city officials said. “Those conversations are ongoing.”

Josh Koehn can be reached at