May 6, 2016


Earlier this year, Chinatown CDC and Self Help for the Elderly, working with David Baker Architects and other community partners, submitted a proposal to build a 203 unit affordable housing project on vacant land on Broadway near the Embarcadero. Our team's proposal offered the following features:

  • 140 family units, including 28 units for formerly homeless families, 34 units for middle income families, 41 units deeply affordable units for families at 30% of Area Median Income (AMI), and 46 units for families at 60% of AMI, as well as a manager’s unit.
  • 63 units for seniors, including 13 for formerly homeless seniors, 15 for middle income seniors, 14 units for seniors at 30% AMI, and 20 units for seniors at 50% AMI, plus a manager’s unit.
  • A Head Start childcare center run by an organization with 40+ years in the community
  • A senior center run by an organization with nearly 50 years in the community
  • A youth program center run by an organization with 38 years in the community
  • Approximately 4500 square feet of community-serving retail and commercial, including a restaurant participating in an innovative program serving low priced meals for seniors
  • A transit first approach to development by eliminating parking
Our proposal provided more units of housing with deeper affordability than was required by the Request for Proposal combined with an innovative senior service program that would have served the entire community. Unfortunately, the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) has selected another proposal. The selected proposal offers approximately 20 fewer total units, fewer units affordable to lower income residents, fewer middle income units, and fewer homeless units. It provides fewer community services, and no senior or youth center. Instead of the housing and services, the winning proposal offers more commercial space and parking.

We are deeply disturbed that MOHCD would select a proposal that offers fewer units and that is neither community-based nor targeted to those most in need for the site at 88 Broadway. We are further troubled that the Mayor’s Office’s created a selection process that favored "upper end" commercial space and subjective concepts of design over affordability – particularly in a moment when housing homeless families is the city’s number one stated priority. For example, the Mayor’s Office weighted points for “design” 4 times greater than points for proposed services.

Our team's proposal would have maximized the number of units for families earning 30% AMI and below, the prevailing strategy for providing housing for homeless families. We did this while still meeting the City’s request to include housing for middle income families and seniors, providing a child care and senior center (and a youth center), and meeting the RFP’s design guidelines.

Chinatown CDC and Self Help for the Elderly are proud of our team's proposal that would have done more to address the needs of the City’s low income and working families and seniors on one of the last remaining vacant sites in the neighborhood. Despite this setback we will continue to work to advance the needs of those most in need with our partners in the neighborhood and across the City.

For more information regarding our proposed joint development contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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