At a community meeting last night, Mission Bay neighbors expressed both concern and opposition regarding a proposed 120-unit facility that would house formerly homeless people.
The site proposed is a vacant 50,000 square foot lot, located behind SFPD headquarters on China Basin Street and adjacent to the AT&T Park event parking site Seawall 337.
As KRON 4 reported from the meeting, city officials assured neighbors that the proposed development would neither be a navigation center nor a homeless shelter, but housing with on-site supportive services.
If built, the project would be the first new 100 percent supportive housing development in the city since 2009. Assuming the project is approved, construction wouldn’t begin until 2019 and it wouldn't start operating until 2021.
Yesterday’s meeting was organized by a homeowner who opposes the development. “Nothing against the homeless,” Joe Lovullo, another local resident against the project, said to the KRON, “but putting them here in a neighborhood where we all paid a high premium doesn’t sit well with me.”
As SFist reports, the city's Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure was tasked with building nearly 2,000 units of affordable housing in Mission Bay, and still needs to be build another 868 units to meet its quota, of which the 120 proposed units would counts towards.
The affordable housing tally represents 29 percent of a the total 6,514 residential units either planned or already constructed in the neighborhood.
Securing more transitional and supportive housing units is a key strategy of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, which works to get homeless people, especially chronically homeless individuals, off of San Francisco’s streets.
Someone who's lived outside for at least a year and struggled with mental health or substance-abuse issues is considered chronically homeless. Earlier this month, The Tipping Point Community, a nonprofit working to fight poverty in the Bay Area, pledged $100 million to halve the city’s chronically homeless population over the next five years.
The money, which will add seven percent to the city’s annual budget for homelessness, will be used to create permanent housing and expand mental health services.
Whereas neighbors in Mission Bay have organized to oppose the city’s proposed 120-unit supportive housing development on China Basin Street, neighbors elsewhere in San Francisco are taking action.
Earlier this month, merchants in the Castro voted to support Supervisor Jeff Sheehy’s desire to open a homeless respite center in District 8. Mission neighbors have expressed support for Supervisor Hillary Ronen’s work to open a temporary navigation center on South Van Ness while a larger development project is waiting for construction permits to come through.
“We need to stop kicking the ball around in San Francisco,” said one Mission Bay neighbor last night, "and every neighborhood needs to do their part.”
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