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GSA celebrates the official opening of San Francisco’s largest permanent supportive housing development on former federal property

Ribbon Cutting featuring San Francisco Mayor London and Sukhee Kang
(left to right) Eric Larra, Chief Financial Officer for ECS, Supervisor Matt Dorsey, HUD Regional Administrator Jason Pu, Shireen McSpadden, Executive Director of the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, GSA Regional Administrator Sukhee Kang, Mayor London Breed, and Doug Shoemaker, President, Mercy Housing California.

The U.S. General Services Administration joined San Francisco Mayor London Breed, federal and local government and community partners for the grand opening of 1064 Mission Street, new Permanent Supportive Housing development serving formerly homeless San Francisco citizens. Located in San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood, the complex at 1064 and 1068 Mission Street has been constructed next to GSA’s historic James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse.

GSA’s Pacific Rim Regional Administrator Sukhee Kang took part in the ribbon cutting with city officials and other stakeholders on February 1st to celebrate the official opening of the 256 apartment housing development. 

“Solutions to homelessness cannot be achieved in silos, and the federal government has a vested stake in helping those most vulnerable in our communities,” said Kang. “GSA is responsible for managing federally owned real estate, which includes identifying land that can be repurposed for public benefit. We are immensely proud to have partnered with the City and County of San Francisco on this land transfer to provide safe and stable housing for hundreds of formerly homeless individuals.”

Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, GSA disposed of a 1.2 acre property to the City and County of San Francisco for the construction of permanent housing for hundreds of unsheltered San Francisco citizens.

“While GSA was not involved with the construction, we were empowered [by the McKinney Act] to provide the land these buildings stand on today,” said Kang. “We also had the opportunity for input for the design sensitive to the historic courthouse. The development is impressive and will be uplifting for residents. The buildings have marvelous areas including courtyards, two garden areas and a passageway. This disposal is a great example of how GSA can work with local stakeholders to bring forth a positive outcome for both the federal government and the local community.”

The property was acquired by GSA to potentially expand the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse, but the expansion was not necessary and it was determined to be excess to the federal government’s needs and disposed of. The disposal process provides the first opportunity to local community-based efforts to serve the homeless over other public uses or a sale. The Department of Housing and Urban Development determined the property suitable and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), engaged and, eventually, approved the city and county’s application for the property. In turn, the city selected Mercy Housing California and Episcopal Community Services (ECS) to build and operate the residential community, respectively.

“This project is a great example of federal, state, and local governments working together to address homelessness,” said Mayor London Breed. “From the federal support delivering the land to the state government providing funding and passing streamlining measures like SB 35 to local government agencies using our funding and partnerships with community organizations to deliver this project, this has truly been a wide-ranging partnership. And in the end, 256 people are off the streets and in housing today. That’s how we continue to do the work around  homelessness, change lives, and improve the conditions of our City.”

Mercy began construction in March 2020 and the first resident received their keys to one of the 300-square foot studio apartments in October 2022. Each apartment is fully furnished, has its own kitchenette and private bathroom. Mercy’s mission is to provide affordable, program-enriched housing for families, seniors and people with special needs who lack the economic resources to access quality, safe housing opportunities. ECS will be the long-term owner/operator of the property.

Both buildings are LEED Silver certified and include staff units, lobbies, community and laundry rooms, nurse’s offices and exam rooms, and onsite property management. For formerly unhoused residents selected to live at the property, this is their forever home after possibly years of being unhoused.

The property also includes an opportunity for residents and community members to participate in the Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Services (or CHEFS) program. A program run by ECS at various locations for more than 15 years, CHEFS at the 1064 property will operate out of a state-of-the-art 6,000 square-foot kitchen area on the ground floor that will do two things: provide at least one hot meal per day for the more than 100 senior citizens residing at the property; and, it will also train future line cooks, chefs, and kitchen managers. So, in addition to having other benefits of permanent supportive housing, including health and dental care provided through the city, residents also have opportunities to train for work as ECS expands their social enterprise and employment navigation aspects of CHEFS by helping participants find jobs in the food industry.