Last night, hundreds gathered in the Mission Promise Neighborhood for the second community meeting on the Mission Action Plan 2020 (MAP 2020). The theme was “A Plan for and Community Discussion on Affordability, ” with the venue Buena Vista Horace Mann School on 23rd Street. A resource fair on tenants’ rights — and other issues of community importance — was part of the event presented by the City and County of San Francisco, Calle 24, the Cultural Action NetworkDolores Street Community Services, MEDA, Pacific Felt Factory and other community-based organizations.

The goal of MAP 2020 is to retain the socioeconomic and cultural diversity of the Mission neighborhood by providing solutions to help protect tenants at risk of eviction, increase affordable housing, stem the loss of social and community services offered to low- to moderate-income residents, and support and retain local businesses, including employers providing working-class jobs. The aim is to keep 65 percent of the Mission as low- or middle-income residents.

City officials on hand included District 9 Supervisor David Campos, Director of Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services Joaquin Torres and Jeff Buckley, who is senior advisor to Mayor Lee.

To welcome the attendees, City Planning Director John Rahaim took to the mic, explaining how San Francisco is trying to address the needs of Mission residents by being part of these community meetings.

Rahaim was followed by Director Antonio Aguilera at San Francisco Day Labor Programand Women’s Collective, who explained the need for the community’s voice to be heard.

Next up was Chirag Bhakta, of the Mission SRO Collaborative, who shared data from a PowerPoint. Bhakta’s dialog was peppered with these sobering facts: there were 989 eviction notices in the Mission from 2009 to 2014, with 1,174 Latinos compelled to leave the neighborhood between 2010 to 2013. He then explained that these numbers are probably conservative, as eviction numbers do not showcase buyouts and that undocumented people may be fearful of being part of a census.

Urban Planner Claudia Flores, from the San Francisco Planning Department, then continued on with the presentation. Flores spoke of the major accomplishments in the Mission community since the initial meeting one year ago. In that time, a set of community organizations and the City have been working to research and discuss the ideas collected, and implementing some immediate, short-term solutions.

There have been major wins, including:

  • Pushing for neighborhood-preference legislation.
  • Increasing resources for legal representation for tenants.
  • Expediting 100 percent affordable sites (more than 300 units).
  • Acquiring an additional affordable site at 490 South Van Ness.
  • Dedicating funding of $50 million for the Mission from the Prop A housing bond that voters passed last November.
  • Implementing higher scrutiny of market-rate projects through interim controls.
  • Launching a nonprofit and creative-space displacement program, with $4.5 million in funding.
  • Augmenting resources for PDR enforcement and technical assistance.

“We’ve already had some major victories in the past year, but there is much more to do. Mission Promise Neighborhood community input is vital to this process, so I am excited to see so many partners, city officials and neighbors here tonight,” stated MEDA’s Director of Community Real Estate Karoleen Feng.

Topics for discussion tonight ranged from how to preserve existing rent-controlled housing/SROs and increase job opportunities to stemming the loss of community-serving businesses and building more 100 percent affordable-housing developments. Attendees broke into groups, in English and Spanish, to discuss these weighty topics. The clear topic of interest was affordable housing — and how it could be funded. Community Engagement Manager Dairo Romero of MEDA acted as a facilitator for the Spanish-speaking tables.

The community’s valuable input will be discussed by organizations and the City, collaboratively working on solutions based on the ideas collected.

The final meeting will be in June, with the date and time to be determined.


About Mission Promise Neighborhood
The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working, and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.

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MPN Blog

A long-awaited vision became reality today during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new park at the corner of Folsom and 17th streets in the Mission. What is currently a large swath of concrete serving as a parking lot will now be transformed into a green space for the community, with a scheduled opening in 300 days.

A hundred students from nearby Cesar Chavez Elementary, a Mission Promise Neighborhood school, joined in the festivities.

This park was years in the making.

The history
For over a decade, the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition fought for this park, with People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER) spearheading the movement. MEDA has supported this advocacy, which was done as part of the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan of 1999.

As a grassroots movement, hundreds of neighbors have been participating in community design meetings and making their voices heard at City Hall. This included Araceli Lara (photo, seventh right) – a mother, grandmother and great grandmother – who was on hand at today’s dedication to be honored for her work to ensure the community looked out for its interests.

This met with success.

Construction of the park will be funded in part by a $3 million grant from the state of California. Features will include a playground, a fountain to honor Mission Creek (which is underneath the area) and a community garden.

Explained PODER’s Oscar Grande of the neighborhood’s work to create the park: “This was a community effort. Una corazón. One heart.”

The need
According to 2013 stats, 64 percent of the Mission’s 72,218 denizens are renters, all sharing a crowded 2.3 square miles. Renters often do not have an outdoor space, meaning parks are vital for residents – especially children – to have a place to exercise and get some fresh air.

A 2014 Mission Promise Neighborhood Survey found that the percent of children who participate in at least one hour of physical activity each day was as follows:

  • Ages 0-5: 69 percent
  • Kindergarten to eighth grade: 62 percent
  • Ninth to 12th grade: 50 percent
  • Out of high school: 43 percent

To better these numbers,  the lack of open space in the neighborhood must be addressed. It is clear that having parks be easily accessible to Mission families is a major component of creating a culture of health in their urban environment.

There are also issues of mental health. Gregory Bratman, a Ph.D. student at Stanford, ran a study last year to see how nature can benefit mental health. The research team first gave healthy people from the Bay Area a questionnaire, coupled with a brain scan, designed to evaluate how susceptible they were to repetitive negative thoughts (a.k.a., brooding). Splitting the group in two, half took a 90-minute nature walk in the hills near Stanford’s campus, while the other group walked for the same amount of time down a busy commercial strip. Once back in the lab, the survey and brain scans were repeated, with those who walked in nature now less prone to persistent negative thoughts. For those who walked down the busy street, there was no perceptible change.

This study showcases the power of being in nature – and of having urban green spaces.

Anchoring an affordable-housing development
This new park at Folsom and 17th streets will also serve as an anchor for a new affordable-housing development in the Mission Promise Neighborhood.

In September 2015, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) awarded MEDA, the lead agency of the Mission Promise Neighborhood, and Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) the right to co-develop, own and manage the neighboring site at 2060 Folsom Street.

The development will solidify a collaboration of longtime nonprofits: Larkin Street Youth Services running residential programs; Good Samaritan Family Resource Center offering preschool assistance; Jamestown Community Center running youth-development programs; MEDA’s Business Development team training prospective entrepreneurs; Mission Neighborhood Centers providing infant and toddler care; and PODER, continuing the fight for environmental rights. Jamestown Community Center and PODER will be housed on-site, relocating from their current spaces in the Mission.

“This park perfectly complements our 2060 Folsom affordable-housing development, offering recreation opportunities for Mission Promise Neighborhood families right outside their door, so that they can be healthy,” states MEDA Director of Community Real Estate Karoleen Feng. “This park is the result of year’s of community advocacy. By 2017, nobody will remember that this was once a place to park your car.”


About Mission Promise Neighborhood
The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working, and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.

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Christopher Gil
Senior Content Marketing Manager
Mission Economic Development Agency
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152

Tracy Parent
Organizational Director
San Francisco Community Land Trust (SFCLT)
(415) 399-1490

Feb. 10, 2016

MEDA and SFCLT Save Five At-Risk Properties Using City’s Small Sites Program
Work with MOHCD to save longtime San Francisco tenants from Ellis Act evictions

San Francisco, Calif. — The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and the San Francisco Community Land Trust (SFCLT) today announced the successful purchase of five apartment buildings from the Iantorno family, thereby averting prospective speculation. The properties’ tenants include an artist, a war veteran, seniors and people of color — 13 low-income households at risk of Ellis Act evictions, some after decades of residency. The Iantorno family admirably agreed to pause the process and sell to nonprofits.

Sellers Sergio and Paul Iantorno explained the Small Sites sale as follows: “As longtime owners of residential property in the Mission District, we are very pleased to be able to share in the City’s vision of preserving and increasing its stock of affordable housing. As a result of guidance from and cooperation with the Mayor’s Office and Supervisor Jane Kim, the Iantorno family was able to transfer five properties to the Mayor’s Small Site Acquisition Program. These sites were initially subject to Ellis Act proceedings; however, over the last nine months, we were able to iron out the terms for this transaction to the benefit of the tenants (and future occupants) of these buildings. This was accomplished in no small part through the collaboration and guidance from the Mayor’s Office and the financing role of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD). We thank buyers MEDA and SFCLT for their cooperation in achieving this mutually satisfactory outcome.”

Of the five rent-controlled properties, comprising 19 households total, MEDA purchased two properties in the Mission Promise Neighborhood footprint, 642 Guerrero (Mission/four units) and 380 San Jose (Mission/four units), while SFCLT acquired 70-72 Belcher (Duboce Triangle/five units), 1684-1688 Grove (NoPa/three units) and 1353-1357 Folsom (SoMa/three units).

All properties were purchased with financing from the City and County of San Francisco’s Small Sites program, administered via the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD). The program was launched as a pilot in June 2014, with just $3 million in funding. Since that time, the City has financed approximately $20 million toward saving small buildings.

Mission Promise Neighborhood Director of Community Real Estate Karoleen Feng (photo, foreground) notes, “We applaud the City of San Francisco and Mayor Lee for their commitment to taking the Small Sites program beyond its pilot stage, and for using the program as one valuable tool toward solving the displacement crisis in the Mission Promise Neighborhood footprint, and citywide.”

Tenants at most risk of eviction are those living in buildings of fewer than 20 units. These smaller properties are the majority of buildings in many low-income San Francisco communities. One example is the Mission District, particularly hard hit by the city’s housing crisis. Per MEDA’s report, “An Assessment of Housing and Housing Affordability in the Mission Promise Neighborhood,” of the Mission’s 24,924 housing units, 17,195 are one- to 19-unit buildings. That is 69 percent of all properties in the neighborhood – the type of units that have seen the highest eviction rates in the San Francisco.

A press conference is being held tomorrow at 11am at one such building in SoMa, 1353-1357 Folsom. Tenants in this three-unit property have been fighting for 10 years to stay in their homes, enlisting the aid of Tenderloin Housing Clinic. The struggle was ended when SFCLT successfully used the City’s Small Sites program to buy the building.

Joining MEDA and SFCLT in this celebration of affordable-housing preservation will be: Mayor Ed Lee (photo, front left); an Iantorno family representative; residents Rene Yanez and Teresa Dulls; South of Market Community Action Network’s Angelica Cabande; Randy Shaw from Tenderloin Housing ClinicMOHCD; Paulina Gonzalez from California Reinvestment CoalitionEnterprise Community Partners’ Justin Chen; Fernando Marti from Council of Community Housing Organizations; and Tommi Avicolli Mecca of Eviction Free San Francisco.

Concludes Organizational Director Tracy Parent of SFCLT, “The Community Land Trust is proud to have been able to create a win-win situation for the owner and tenants of these five apartment buildings, and we look forward to working with other apartment building owners who want to sell to the nonprofit community to stabilize existing residents and neighborhoods, while ensuring these homes remain permanently affordable for future households.”

See photos.

Mission Economic Development Agency

About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
MEDA is the lead agency of the Mission Promise Neighborhood. Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.


About San Francisco Community Land Trust (SFCLT)
SFCLT is a membership-based organization whose mission is to create permanently affordable, resident-controlled housing for low- to moderate-income people in San Francisco through community ownership of the land. The Land Trust acquires existing rental buildings in which lower income tenants are at risk of displacement or rent-controlled units are at risk of losing their affordability, and converts the building into a housing cooperative in which the tenants share ownership, while the Land Trust maintains ownership of the land.

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1988-01212016_CRE-Prop A Money Community Meeting Social Media_blog_640x295px

While trendy Valencia Street nightspots were filled as usual last Wednesday night with San Franciscans blowing off steam after work, a community that has been gaining steam for years met at Centro del Pueblo to engage in a historic discussion.

Thirteen community-based organizations – now under the name United to Save the Mission – collectively decided a plan of action with over a hundred residents. The topic: affordable housing. Specifically how the money from Prop A, passed last November with 75 percent of the vote, should be prioritized in the Mission.

The background
Prop A was the first housing bond passed in San Francisco since 1996. The total of this bond – put forth to address housing-affordability issues in an increasingly costly market – was set at $310 million.

Of that money, $50 million was earmarked for the Mission, the neighborhood hardest hit by the housing crisis. As proof of that statement, consider that a mere 7 percent of housing in the Mission’s pipeline is set as affordable, well under the City’s stated target of one-third.

report entitled “An Assessment of Housing and Housing Affordability in the Mission Promise Neighborhood” offered some specific numbers. This report estimated that 2,400 low- to moderate-income residents’ units be retained or replaced to maintain the Mission as a working-class neighborhood and Latino cultural hub.

The goal of last Wednesday’s meeting was to ensure that the community has a say in how this $50 million will be spent, as part of a plan to make the above happen.

The movement
This community meeting also represented three years of community advocacy and solidarity, ranging from street rallies and individual political actions to grassroots organizing and filling City Hall to the rafters to demand aggressive solutions.

MEDA, the lead agency of the Mission Promise Neighborhood, played an integral part by leading the creation of the Mission Action Plan 2020 (MAP 2020). A central piece of MAP 2020 was the implementation of an ongoing series of monthly meetings, since April 2015, that serves as a forum for City staff to directly request community input in funding priorities for affordable housing in the neighborhood.

The clear growth in the community’s power was then demonstrated last summer by the speed in which signatures were gathered for Prop I, the pause on luxury housing in the Mission District. Prop I made it to last November’s ballot, and while the measure garnered major support in the Mission, it unfortunately did not pass because the “Yes” side was vastly outspent by developers on the “No” side. Despite this loss, a movement was solidified.

This momentum of this movement led to a neighborhood having the impetus to put collective pressure on elected officials to allocate more funds to the Mission for affordable housing.

The displacement
The advent of this movement has been loss, real and anticipated, of a community no longer feeling they will be able to remain part of their neighborhood of choice. These feelings are based in fact, as the Mission has seen dire displacement of low-income and working-class residents (8,000 in the past decade, with the majority Latinos).

Those most vulnerable to housing instability are homeless individuals and families, very low-income people, those with children, transitional-aged youth (18– to 24-year-olds), seniors on a fixed income and persons living with disabilities. Many in attendance last night met these demographics. They came because years of action had led to their knowing that they will represented – that they now have a say in their future.

The options
There were four options presented to the community, with detailed explanations given for each and questions answered. This was done via small-group discussions, in Spanish and English.

Based on the group discussions, community members then cast votes for their priorities.

The community decided the priority should be to buy land and build now. The second choice was to buy land and build later. In third was the rehab of existing Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels.

The next step
There is a follow-up community meeting next week to determine how to present last night’s prioritization to the powers that be at City Hall. United to Save the Mission will deliver this message on behalf of the community.

One resident of the Mission, Manuela from Alabama Street in the Mission Promise Neighborhood footprint, was compelled to come to the meeting out of fear of displacement. She explained, “I’ve seen too many of my neighbors have to move. They were all hardworking people who loved their neighborhood. They helped make the Mission what it is. I don’t want to be next.”

Manuela’s voice has been heard … as has a community’s.


About Mission Promise Neighborhood
The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working, and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.

Read More



(415) 569-2699
2301 Mission Street, Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94110

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