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The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

San Francisco and UCSF Announce Landmark Benefits Package as Part of New Hospital and Housing Project at Parnassus Heights Campus

Informed by more than two years of outreach and engagement, community benefits include affordable workforce housing, transit improvements, workforce opportunities and other community investments

San Francisco, CA — Today the City and County of San Francisco announced an agreement in principle with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) on a community benefits package to accompany UCSF’s plans to update its Parnassus Heights campus.

The proposed benefits package provides a national model of investment in affordable workforce housing, transit improvements and operations, workforce opportunities and other community investments while improving a critical emergency facility serving San Francisco’s westside, upgrading medical facilities to meet state seismic code, and providing urgently needed expansion of the UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center’s capacity over the next decade. Specifically, the benefits package includes:

  • 1,263 units of new housing for the UCSF workforce;
  • Designation of 40% of all new and existing UCSF housing (about 1,000 homes) as affordable units;
  • $20 million in transportation improvements;
  • 30% local hire targets for both construction and permanent entry level jobs.

UCSF is building a new hospital at Parnassus Heights to replace the existing, nearly 70-year-old Moffit hospital, which is unable to admit thousands of patients each year because of limited bed capacity. The new hospital will increase the Medical Center’s capacity by 42 percent with 200 additional inpatient beds to better accommodate the region’s growing health care needs. To comply with the state’s seismic code by 2030 as required, UCSF will build the new hospital and replace other outdated and seismically vulnerable buildings with state-of-the-art facilities to support UCSF’s renowned research and training programs for decades to come.

“As we look ahead to our economic recovery, this is an opportunity for us to make significant investments in housing, transportation, jobs, and the long-term health care needs of our City,” said Mayor London Breed. “This pandemic has shown that not only do we need a strong healthcare system in place to care for our residents, but that these long-term projects with well-paying jobs and affordable housing are essential to keeping our economy strong in this City. This proposed agreement will benefit San Francisco and our residents for years to come, and we are committed to continuing to work collaboratively with UCSF on this project as it moves forward.”

“As a public university, we are proud of our 150-year partnership with the City, serving the people of San Francisco through every public health crisis and every year in between,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. “Parnassus Heights has been our home for more than a century and we are proud to advance this unique partnership as we re-envision our original campus to meet the health care needs of the 21st Century, improve the daily experience of the University’s neighbors and address local challenges facing the city.”

UCSF’s plans for Parnassus Heights reflect input from thousands of external and internal stakeholders in a planning process that began in 2018, including 28 community meetings, and resulted in dozens of actionable ideas for community investment, including investing millions in SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency), more than quadrupling campus housing, and making the campus more welcoming by doubling access to campus open space.

Earlier this year, at the request of Mayor Breed and Supervisors Yee and Preston, UCSF began discussions with the City to ensure the University’s investments in community benefits are aligned with City priorities of more workforce housing, transit improvements, and workforce opportunities. The proposed benefits package will be memorialized in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that, once finalized, will be signed by representatives from the City and UCSF.

UCSF has agreed in principle to the following package of community benefits:

Affordable Workforce Housing

To support the added workforce created by the University’s Parnassus Heights plan and reduce employee commute needs, UCSF will provide 1,263 new housing units over the life of the project. UCSF will add at least 50 percent (632) of these net new units by the projected hospital opening in 2030 and set aside approximately 1,000 affordable units citywide for UCSF staff over the life of the plan.

To address housing affordability, UCSF commits to making 40% (approximately 1,000) of all new and existing housing units affordable for UCSF employees and trainees earning 120% AMI or less, with half (approximately 500) of these affordable units set aside for employee and trainee households earning 90% AMI or less. The affordable housing agreement will be in place until 2080.

Transportation Funding & Improvements

To realize Parnassus Heights plan’s vision of a transit-first campus, UCSF will contribute over $20 million dollars towards transit improvements serving the campus. In addition, in order to encourage public transportation use, UCSF has agreed to significantly expand its transit pass program.

UCSF and the SFMTA are committed to working together to provide alternatives to car travel and reduce car use, accommodate safe and usable access for all travel modes, and to​ expand transit capacity and service, including collaboration towards accommodating 3-car trains on the N-Judah. The project also includes streetscape improvements such as stop upgrades at 2nd/Irving and integrated planning for Parnassus Avenue to accommodate transit, curb management, and pedestrian safety.

UCSF’s plans will improve the layout of the campus to include changes to the sidewalks and public spaces to make it a better and more welcoming experience for students, employees, visitors, and neighbors to not only get to the campus, but also to get around the campus more efficiently.

Workforce Opportunities, Training, and Community Investments

UCSF projects over 4,000 permanent UCSF jobs will be created over the lifetime of the plan, and approximately 1,000 unionized construction jobs for the new hospital alone. UCSF has committed to a 30% local hire goal for construction and entry-level jobs as part of the project. UCSF is also committed to first source hiring for available entry-level positions. UCSF will expand its construction and administrative workforce programs in partnership with the city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development programs.

UCSF and DPH will also provide additional behavioral health benefits including expanding opportunities for marginalized and underrepresented populations in the field. UCSF will increase the number of participants in the EXCEL program, a work-based learning program that uses both classroom and on-the-job training to prepare participants for career path jobs in the healthcare sector, and expand to include additional job classifications at a cost of $3 million over the next 10 years. UCSF will also expand their Community Construction Outreach Program/CityBuild partnership​ by $2 million over the next 10 years.

UCSF will look to expand the UCSF High School Intern Program (HIP) where San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) high school students participate in an 8-week paid summer internship and develop an expanded partnership with SFUSD to explore establishing comprehensive career pathway programs at high schools for students.

To encourage investment in key commercial corridors and advance economic opportunity and health equity in marginalized communities, UCSF commits to increase its spending with local, small and diverse businesses in the City by 50 percent by 2024 — in alignment with its Anchor Institution Initiative. The University will also host targeted supplier diversity events and launch seasonal campaigns, such as “UCSF Shop Local” to promote businesses with nearby Inner Sunset and Cole Valley merchants.

Open Space Access

As part of UCSF’s “park to peak” vision of a neighborhood connected to local open spaces, the University will maintain its Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve at no less than its current size of 61 acres, while adding improved wayfinding and continuation of its responsible stewardship plans. UCSF has re-committed to the 2018 Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve Vegetation Management Plan to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the Reserve for all of the community to enjoy.

Next Steps

The City has held two previous community meetings on the agreement, and will present the details of the package at a third community meeting this week, followed by City hearings at the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.  The UC Board of Regents will vote on amending the 2014 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) to allow implementation of the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan (CPHP) later this month.

Support for Parnassus Heights Project

“From the 1906 earthquake to the HIV epidemic to COVID-19, UCSF has been a crucial player in providing healthcare, training programs and research that are recognized around the world,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).  “The Parnassus Heights project makes certain this important work and legacy will continue. The new agreement is a shining example of how community investment can be more inclusive. While we meet the region’s growing healthcare needs, we also ensure local residents share in their neighbor’s success, resulting in good-paying jobs, affordable housing and transportation improvements."

“The UCSF Parnassus project is a long overdue, visionary project for San Francisco. We should all be intensely proud that UCSF — the best hospital in the country — is part of our community,” said State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). “We’re seeing during this pandemic how essential it is to have world-class healthcare institutions to serve those in need. It’s critical that UCSF modernize its facilities to ensure it remains on the cutting edge of healthcare. The project will also produce desperately needed new housing, including a significant amount of affordable housing for workers. I fully support this project.”

“Over the past two years, ISPN board members have been engaged in developing the Parnassus Heights plan through the thoughtful process UCSF created to embed neighbor voice in the plan,” wrote Martha Ehrenfeld, President of the Inner Sunset Park Neighbors, in a letter of support from the association to the UC Regents. “The ISPN looks forward to continuing to work with UCSF to bring these community investments to fruition and ensure neighbor voice continues to be part of the process.”

“As a top job creator and the second largest employer in the City and County, UCSF contributes to San Francisco’s energy and ‘innovation ecosystem,’ attracting world-class talent to live, work, and study here in our city,” said Dr. Matthew Ajiake, President of the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce. “As San Francisco recovers from the economic toll of COVID-19, UCSF’s plan for a reinvigorated Parnassus Heights would strengthen the neighborhood’s economic and cultural vitality, and will be a key economic driver in rebuilding our workforce. The San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce looks forward to collaborating with UCSF and the City on this transformative effort.”

“California's unprecedented housing shortage is devastating our cities and communities and degrading quality of life for all of San Francisco, pushing out long-time residents and future generations,” said Matt Regan, Senior Vice President of the Bay Area Council. “UCSF’s plans to expand medical and research capacity with new state-of-the-art facilities at its Parnassus Heights campus will help address the City’s urgent housing shortage by drastically increasing the amount of housing on-site and promoting alternative transportation strategies and pedestrian safety improvements, alongside a wide range of other community benefits the University has incorporated into the plan to offset impacts to the existing community. The Bay Area Council strongly supports this proposed project.”

“UCSF engaged in a thoughtful, two-year, collaborative process with neighbors to develop a list of proposed community investments to be made throughout the life of the plan,” wrote SF Bicycle Coalition Senior Community Organizer, Kristen Lesckie in a letter of support from the organization to the UC Regents. “Their proposed mobility investments include expanding bicycle routes to and through the campus, working with the City to increase capacity and reliability of Muni lines serving the Parnassus Heights campus, and connecting Golden Gate Park and Mount Sutro with greater access paths, all of which will lead to a safer and more livable community for the surrounding neighbors and staff.”