San Francisco buys SoMa building for homeless housing

City will use $46 million in capital funding and another $8.5 million from Project Homekey

London Breed, mayor of San Francisco, in front of the Panoramic building at 1301 Mission Street (Getty Images, LoopNet, iStock)
London Breed, mayor of San Francisco, in front of the Panoramic building at 1301 Mission Street (Getty Images, LoopNet, iStock)

San Francisco will use money from capital funds and California’s Project Homekey to purchase a 160-room building to serve as housing for formerly homeless people.

The city will use about $46 million in capital funding and another $8.5 million from Project Homekey to purchase the Panoramic building at the corner of Mission and Ninth streets, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The remainder of the cost will be covered by the city’s Proposition C business tax.

The building, which has 40 three-bedroom suites that can house families with children, formerly served as student housing for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the California College of the Arts. Both of the schools have now opened their own student housing.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors agreed to purchase the Panoramic as a part of the city’s mission to provide more housing options for those living on the streets. The city is also offering rental vouchers to help the homeless find and afford apartments more easily.

“As we continue to push forward with our Homelessness Recovery Plan, we must take advantage of every opportunity and resource we have to ensure that all people receive the housing and support they need,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

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The Project Homekey funds for the purchase were part of a larger $113 million grant to buy five properties across the state that will yield a total of 392 housing units.

The city used $76.89 million from Project Homekey to open 360 units of supportive housing at the Hotel Diva and Granada Hotel last year.
“It is critical that we provide more housing, shelter, prevention and diversion for those experiencing homeless in our community,” Shireen McSpadden, executive director of the city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, said in a statement..

The city is also looking at another property to serve as supportive housing. The 114-room Vantaggio Suites on Turk Street near Jefferson Square Park currently houses 42 residents. Officials say that if the deal is approved, none of the current residents will be kicked out.

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