Mayor Lee Announces Funding for Small Site Acquisition Program to Protect Longtime San Francisco Tenants
New Program Creates Permanently Affordable Rental Units Through Acquisition & Rehabilitation of Existing Properties At-Risk of Speculation
Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced funding availability for acquisition and rehabilitation financing for the multi-family rental buildings of 5-25 units through the new Small Sites Program. This funding will help stabilize buildings that are occupied by low to moderate income tenants throughout San Francisco that are particularly susceptible to evictions and rising rents. An initial $3 million is being made available with additional funding expected to be released during the program’s first year.
“Real estate speculation and rising rents have contributed to displacement of San Franciscans across our City,” said Mayor Lee. “We need to stabilize our neighborhoods that are vulnerable to gentrification and expand the safety net for San Franciscans at risk of eviction and displacement. This program is a part of our comprehensive plan to protect and stabilize our housing stock. With the purchase of already occupied units, we can preserve their affordability over the long-term. The Small Sites Program offers a way to create certainty for our longtime San Francisco families and rent-controlled households, ensuring they have a safe, affordable place to live well into the future.”
The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) issued a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for acquisition and rehabilitation financing under the Small Sites Program. Properties supported by this revenue must be 100 percent rental residential buildings located in the City. Buildings at immediate risk for Ellis Act eviction or in the process of an Ellis Act eviction will be given priority.
The focus of the program is properties whose existing tenants are low-income, with an average building Area Median Income (AMI) of 80 percent. This is intended to be a zero displacement program, and no residents, regardless of income, will be displaced due to the building’s participation in the Small Sites Program. Small Sites Program buildings will carry long-term affordability restrictions, increasing the City’s supply of affordable housing and ensuring that rental units are affordable for future generations of San Francisco residents.
The Small Sites Program is funded through a combination of Housing Trust Fund revenues and affordable housing fees paid by housing developers in San Francisco. MOHCD is required to designate 10 percent of affordable housing fees received to support acquisition and rehabilitation of properties consisting of less than 25 units. Program funding may be used to support a variety of housing development activities, including property acquisition and minor rehabilitation. Applicants may be a non-profit or for-profit corporation that is capable of entering into contract with the City and can demonstrate the technical capacity and experience to successfully acquire, rehabilitate, own, and manage affordable housing.
Tenant protection is a cornerstone of Mayor Lee’s seven point housing plan. Earlier this year, Mayor Lee worked with State Senator Mark Leno on legislation closing a loophole in the Ellis Act that allows speculators to buy rent-controlled buildings in San Francisco and immediately evicting long-term tenants. In April, Mayor Lee and Board President David Chiu launched the Ellis Act Housing Preference Program (EAHP) for tenants who are evicted under the State Ellis Act. Displaced tenants will now be given preference for the City’s affordable housing programs.
For more information on the Small Sites Program and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, go to: http://www.sfmohcd.org/.