SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 24, 2015—Nonprofit BRIDGE Housing has closed on financing and acquisition of 360 apartments in four properties, under the citywide Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. RAD, created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and championed by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) leverages private capital to preserve and improve public housing and address a multibillion-dollar nationwide backlog of deferred maintenance.
In this first phase of RAD in San Francisco, BRIDGE acquired four properties in the Bernal Heights, Mission and Castro neighborhoods:
• Holly Courts: 118 units for families originally built in 1940 (the oldest public housing building west of the Rockies), in partnership with Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.
• 25 Sanchez: 90 units for senior and disabled residents, in partnership with Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA).
• 462 Duboce: 42 units for senior and disabled residents, in partnership with MEDA.
• 255 Woodside: 110 units for senior and disabled residents, in partnership with MEDA.
BRIDGE will extensively rehabilitate the properties, focusing on life-safety upgrades and modernization efforts to improve resident life. The $55.6-million renovations are expected to take between 14 and 16 months. Certain phases of construction will require residents to relocate temporarily, and BRIDGE and its partners have been working with residents for many months in anticipation of the renovations.
Rehabilitation architects are HKIT, Gelfand Partners and Barcelon & Jang; Fineline Construction is the general contractor. Significant commitments from HUD, the City and County of San Francisco and the San Francisco Housing Authority are leveraging private capital provided by Bank of America, in the form of construction and permanent loans, tax-credit equity and services funding. Through ground leases with the Housing Authority, the nonprofit partnerships will own and operate the buildings for the long term.
“San Francisco’s innovative partnership offers a bold new model for the nation in repairing public housing without losing units,” said Cynthia A. Parker, President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing. “Through RAD, we’ll deliver capital improvements with much-needed resident services and quality property management, all while ensuring these homes will remain permanently affordable to people with low incomes.”
“This innovative tool allows us to revitalize and rebuild our distressed public housing,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Through this public-private partnership, we will finally be able to re-envision public housing for thousands of very low-income San Franciscans, and I thank HUD Secretary Castro, Leader Pelosi, President Breed and the entire Board of Supervisors for working together with our partners to ensure that San Francisco’s public housing is clean, safe and in good condition for our most in need families.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch emerged as the successful bidder in the SF-RAD Investor and Lender RFP with a highly competitive proposal that provided Phase I with approximately $310 million in LIHTC equity, $360 million in a tax-exempt bond construction loan, $20 million in subordinated, forgivable debt, and $80 million in permanent debt in partnership with Freddie Mac. Ari Beliak, Vice President of Community Development Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, explained that SF-RAD was a uniquely appealing investment for a number of reasons: “First and foremost was the immense impact that SF-RAD would have on San Francisco and its residents; second was the significance of San Francisco from a business and community investment standpoint; third was that the size made it a highly efficient way to achieve a large impact; and finally the complexity made it a challenge but also a historic opportunity.”
In the second phase of RAD next year, BRIDGE will take on an additional 357 units in three properties for a total of more than 700 units.
For more information about BRIDGE Housing, visit bridgehousing.com.