Mayor London Breed Announces the Successful Rehabilitation of 96 Affordable Homes for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities
Former public housing in the Tenderloin at 350 Ellis St. was renovated as part of the Rental Assistance Demonstration program and is now called Ellis Gardens
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, Supervisor Matt Haney, and community leaders today celebrated the grand reopening of 96 units of affordable housing at Ellis Gardens, a former public housing property that was originally built in 1970. The building at 350 Ellis St. in the Tenderloin is one of 28 sites previously owned by the San Francisco Housing Authority that were renovated under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The RAD program allows for a voluntary, permanent conversion of public housing to privately owned, permanently affordable housing.
“For too long, people living in public housing were left behind—and their homes were allowed to fall into disrepair,” said Mayor Breed. “At Ellis Gardens, and in other RAD sites across the City, we’ve been able to improve the conditions of San Francisco’s public housing and keep our most vulnerable residents in affordable housing in the neighborhood that they call home. Thanks to the partnership of the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation and GLIDE Community Housing, we have 96 units of safe, beautiful, and permanently affordable housing right here in the Tenderloin.”
Ellis Gardens is a 96-unit building that provides affordable housing for seniors and adults with disabilities with incomes up to 50% of Area Median Income. This project is part of the City’s commitment to preserving and revitalizing nearly 3,500 distressed public housing units across San Francisco. To date, more than 3,200 apartments have been converted and renovated under the RAD program. The remaining 300 units will be completed in 2020.
“The renovation and reopening of nearly 100 permanently affordable units in the Tenderloin is an exciting and meaningful development for seniors and people with disabilities in this community,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “As a City we must do everything we can to preserve and build affordable units, and 350 Ellis is a prime example of creative solutions to our housing crisis.”
The substantial rehabilitation of Ellis Gardens focused on life safety and accessibility improvements, including upgrades to create four apartments for visually and hearing impaired households. Additional renovations included updating bathrooms and kitchens, installing new flooring throughout the residential units, enlarging the community room and creating office spaces, elevator modernization, installing a new roof and sprinkler system, and replacing the siding and windows.
“With the completion of crucial renovations at 350 Ellis we have transformed nearly every single public housing project we set out to under the RAD program and will complete our efforts next year,” said Daniel Adams, Acting Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD). “RAD has been integral in ensuring San Francisco remains a city for all and I am thrilled the new Ellis Gardens allows seniors and people with disabilities to continue to live in their homes with greater comfort and dignity.”
Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation and GLIDE Community Housing worked together to complete the $67 million comprehensive rehabilitation funded with tax credit equity, permanent mortgage and City funds. Ellis Gardens is located nearly adjacent to the GLIDE Foundation. GLIDE Community Housing’s support services staff provide clients with benefit-related assistance and referrals to ensure housing stability. GLIDE also hosts a variety of community-building activities, knowledge-sharing, and ongoing residential case management.
“At TNDC we believe that when a person has a place to call home, they have the foundation for a better life. The rehabilitation of Ellis Gardens created 96 newly-renovated homes with beautiful indoor and outdoor community spaces for seniors and people with disabilities,” said Don Falk, CEO of Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. “Together with the SF Housing Authority, Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development and other key partners, this project represents the realization of a community’s vision for revitalizing public housing.”
Ellis Gardens also includes new garden space in the front and rear of the building, as well as a mural, painted by Precita Eyes Muralists, honoring the Tenderloin’s legacy of African-American jazz, the struggles for LGBTQ rights, local Asian culture, and the neighborhood’s low-income residents. The late Michael Palmer, MOHCD’s construction lead on the Ellis Gardens renovation, is memorialized in the mural in honor of his nearly 15 years of service to the City and County of San Francisco.
“We at Glide Community Housing are honored to be providing Support Services to the residents of Ellis Gardens. Support Services for these residents means an array of amenities including better access to medical providers, improving their health and wellness, community activities, educational trainings, and art therapy workshops,” said Pamela Grayson-Holmon, Executive Director of GLIDE Community Housing Inc. “We also provide harm reduction focused intensive case management services.”
“I love that Ellis Gardens is across the street from Boeddeker Park and feels like an extension of the park now that the renovations are complete,” said Luis Castillo, a resident of Ellis Gardens.