The struggle to save 665 Clay became a defining struggle for affordable housing in the dot.com era. After receiving Ellis Act eviction letters, tenants working with Chinatown CDC organizers staged a series of protests from the front door of City Hall to the alleyways of Chinatown. This public pressure forced the city to confront the impact of speculator Ellis Act evictions and gentrification. Eventually, the City funded Chinatown CDC’s effort to purchase the building and preserve it as affordable housing for the families at 665 Clay Street. Chinatown CDC later seismically upgraded the building, provided heat for the first time to residents, improved kitchens and unit finishes, and provided new community bathrooms. Chinatown CDC’s Organizing offices are on the ground floor, along with another tenant in a large commercial space.
Square Footage: 19,238 Unit Type: 10 Single-Room Occupancy units (SROs), 13 studios, 1 one-bedroom, 1 two-bedroom Resident Services: Provided by Chinatown CDC Waiting List: CLOSED
Chinatown CDC Role: Developer, Owner, Manager Funding Sources: Mayor's Office of Housing, City Seismic Safety Loan Program Contractor: Transworld Construction Architect: Asian Neighborhood Design Construction Type: Rehabilitation Development Cost: $4,000,000