UCSF will build and rent affordable housing for staff who meet specific income criteria if the University is allowed to proceed with plans for its new medical center facilities at Mission Bay. Recently, the UC Board of Regents and the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency unanimously approved the terms of an agreement for the 160-unit affordable housing project to be located just north of the Mission Bay campus. The housing development is a key feature in the agreement that will require the redevelopment agency to consent to the lease of 9.74 acres of land south of 16th Street from Catellus Development Corp. to UC, so that UCSF can build new hospital facilities. UCSF plans to develop a first-phase, 210-bed integrated specialty hospital for women's, children's and cancer services and an ambulatory care/translational research building at Mission Bay by 2012. UCSF officials intend for the rental units to be available to coincide with the 2012 opening of the new medical center facilities. UCSF Medical Center must build these new facilities to meet state seismic safety laws and expand and upgrade services to accommodate growing demand for highly specialized care. UCSF and redevelopment agency officials are expected to negotiate a proposed memorandum of understanding of the terms and affordable housing agreements by the end of August. If all goes according to schedule, the Regents, city officials and the agency commission could approve the deal by September 30. Accommodating Employees If the project is approved, UCSF will be the first campus in the entire 10-campus UC system to build and rent affordable housing for UC staff, who would qualify for the housing based on specific income criteria, according to Bruce Spaulding, vice chancellor for University Advancement and Planning. "As the second-largest employer in San Francisco, we should try to provide affordable housing for our staff," Spaulding noted. "If we can lease the land for the new hospital facilities, this housing project will be an added benefit for our staff." UCSF officials began negotiations with redevelopment agency officials and the Mayor's Office in February 2003 for the lease of land for medical center facilities. Mayor Gavin Newsom led the discussions that ultimately came up with the deal that satisfies mutual interests. "This is an agreement that everyone is happy with," Spaulding said. Under the terms, UCSF may offer up to 48 of the two-bedroom units to house staff (medical residents) and postdoctoral fellows and their families. To qualify for these units, a household's combined income cannot exceed 100 percent of area median income (AMI). Affordability levels are based on the AMI of three counties, as set by the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department. UCSF will offer 72 two-bedroom and all 40 one-bedroom units, as a first priority to staff and affiliates. To qualify for these units, a household's combined income for all occupants must not exceed 60 percent of AMI. Obviously, AMI affordability rates will be adjusted at the time the units are available. But based on current AMI levels, to qualify for the one-bedroom apartments which today would rent for $1,140 per month, a household's combined annual income cannot exceed $45,600. A three-person household's annual income cannot exceed $51,300 to qualify for a two-bedroom apartment that would rent for $1,283 a month. By comparison, monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments in San Francisco today range from $1,700 in the Mission District to $2,700 in Pacific Heights, according to MetroRent. A two-bedroom apartment on Potrero Hill rents for $2,400 a month today. UCSF officials say thousands of staff members currently qualify to rent the affordable apartments, and expect that to be the case in 2012. Based on current high demand for affordable housing in San Francisco, the rental units likely will be offered through an outreach and lottery selection system or other similar selection process.
|UCSF plans to build affordable housing for staff on a 1.6-acre parcel on block 7 if it is allowed to proceed with plans for new medical center facilities in an area known as the Mission Bay south site. (View larger image)|