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Community Housing Partnership and BRIDGE Housing Celebrate Grand Opening of Rene Cazenave Apartments

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 29, 2014—San Francisco will celebrate the grand opening of Rene Cazenave Apartments today at 25 Essex Street, one of the first residential projects in the Transbay Redevelopment Area. The program begins at 11 am, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and refreshments.

Rene Cazenave Apartments is a co-development of nonprofits Community Housing Partnership and BRIDGE Housing. The new construction, eight-story building provides 120 supportive housing apartments: 12 one-bedrooms and 108 studios. All residents are extremely low income, formerly homeless individuals referred by the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Direct Access to Housing program.

The new building has changed the lives of residents such as Volunteer L., who had been living out of his car for more than a year and a half before he moved in. While he was homeless, Volunteer would worry about his safety and jump at noises during the night. But now, says Volunteer, “I have my own bed to sleep in and a place to call my own. That is everything."

“Rene Cazenave Apartments is a 100% affordable housing development that is transforming the lives of our City’s most vulnerable residents for the better,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “By providing housing and supportive services to our City’s formerly homeless, we are also providing hope and opportunity.”

The building is named in memory of Rene Cazenave, a founding board member of Community Housing Partnership who was at the center of the affordable housing movement in San Francisco for over 40 years.

At street level, the property includes three retail spaces totaling 3,395 square feet. UCSF’s Citywide Case Management Services deliver counseling and supportive services on site. Other features include a resident lounge, a green roof, a small community garden and 24-hour front desk service. On-site property management offices are staffed by Community Housing Partnership.

“The development of Rene Cazenave Apartments is a testament to our city’s commitment to investing in our most vulnerable citizens, homeless individuals. Together, we truly are breaking the cycle of homelessness and changing lives in San Francisco,” said Gail Gilman, Executive Director of Community Housing Partnership.

“Wells Fargo is thrilled to be part of the finance team for this very important new development in San Francisco, which is already impacting the lives of its residents,” said Jeff Bennett, Wells Fargo Community Lending & Investment. “The development of Rene Cazenave Apartments is an example of the outstanding work being done by Community Housing Partnership and BRIDGE to deliver high quality, service-enhanced, affordable housing to those who need it the most.”

“Enterprise is committed to supporting affordable housing like Rene Cazenave Apartments and to transforming areas like Transbay,” said Rich Gross, VP and Northern California market leader at Enterprise Community Partners, the parent of Enterprise Community Investment.  “Quality housing in a thriving community provides real opportunity to a good life.”

“By partnering with CHP, we leveraged the greatest strengths of both organizations,” said Cynthia A. Parker, President and CEO of BRIDGE. “We are thrilled to bring new, affordable homes to this emerging neighborhood.”

Financing for the $42.7 million property was provided by the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, Enterprise Community Investment, Wells Fargo Bank, California Department of Housing & Community Development, Silicon Valley Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, California Housing Finance Agency, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, San Francisco Department of Public Health and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

Rene Cazenave Apartments was designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects and Saida + Sullivan Design Partners, and constructed by Cahill Contractors.

Expected speakers include: Mayor Edwin M. Lee, City and County of San Francisco; Supervisor Jane Kim, District 6; Barry White, resident; Bill Pavao, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee; Lesley Eckstein, Wells Fargo Bank; Christine Carr, Silicon Valley Bank; Rich Gross, Enterprise Community Partners; Calvin Welch, SF Information Clearinghouse; Sylvie Cazenave; Gail Gilman, Community Housing Partnership; and Cynthia Parker, BRIDGE Housing.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs of Rene Cazenave Apartments are available; please contact lhikida@bridgehousing.com or bholian@chp-sf.org to request

ABOUT COMMUNITY HOUSING PARTNERSHIP
Founded in 1990, Community Housing Partnership is the only San Francisco nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to providing permanent, supportive housing to formerly homeless individuals and families. Community Housing Partnership owns and/ or manages 12 properties with over 1,000 units, with an additional 222 new units in development. These supportive residences address the needs of seniors, families with young children, youth at risk of homelessness, and adults with physical or cognitive disorders. We provide an essential and comprehensive network of services including job training and placement opportunities, a social enterprise, family and youth programs, substance abuse treatment and community organizing. These services annually impact the lives of over 2,000 formerly homeless adults and children by supporting them in retaining their housing and leading stable, productive lives. For more information, visit www.chp-sf.org

ABOUT BRIDGE HOUSING
BRIDGE Housing Corporation, recently named the #1 nonprofit affordable housing developer in the country, develops, owns and manages a range of high-quality, affordable homes for working families and seniors. Since it was founded in 1983, BRIDGE has participated in the development of over 14,000 homes serving more than 37,000 people. For more information, visit www.bridgehousing.com.