SOURCE: Citizens Housing Corporation

October 17, 2007 07:00 ET

Citizens Housing Corporation Turns Historic San Francisco Church Into Affordable Homes for Seniors

Mayor Newsom and Supervisor Mirkarimi Celebrate Opening

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - October 17, 2007) - Citizens Housing Corporation, an innovative nonprofit housing developer, today officially opened Buena Vista Terrace, a 40-unit affordable housing development for seniors in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. The building, a 1915 Romanesque Revival landmark originally built for a Christian Science congregation, had been vacant for many years. The event will be marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the building at 3:00 p.m. today, which will be attended by Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, both early supporters of the project.

"We are pleased to simultaneously preserve a beautiful historic structure and provide much-needed affordable housing for seniors," said James M. Buckley, president of Citizens Housing. "We worked closely with the Mayor's Office of Housing, Supervisor Mirkarimi, and the neighbors to ensure that the residents of Buena Vista Terrace would have a comfortable, safe place to live."

The exterior of the church, which features terra cotta details set in the historic brick facade, has been carefully preserved while four stories of studio and one-bedroom apartments were added within the building shell. Reminders of the building's past, including original window openings, plaster ornamentation, and stained glass windows patterns, have been retained throughout the project. Prior to Citizens Housing's acquisition of the building, plans had called for the church to be torn down to make way for a condominium project. Citizens Housing worked closely with neighborhood organizations to preserve the building and plan the project.

Buena Vista Terrace was financed through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Supportive Housing for the Elderly (Section 202) program, local funding from the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing, and Federal Home Loan Bank's Affordable Housing Program (AHP). In addition to capital funding, the HUD grant will provide ongoing operating subsidies that will enable Citizens Housing to reduce rents in the building to just 30% of the resident's income.

Individual apartments in Buena Vista Terrace provide full kitchens and private baths. Common amenities include a computer center, a laundry facility, and community space on the first floor. Construction began in December 2005; the first residents are moving in this month; full occupancy is expected in November 2008.

The building is located at 1250 Haight Street, between Lyon and Central Streets, directly across from Buena Vista Park.

About Citizens Housing Corporation

Citizens Housing Corporation is an innovative, nonprofit, affordable-housing developer and manager, incorporated in 1992 to increase and preserve affordable housing opportunities for low-income Californians. Their diverse portfolio includes green buildings, transitional housing on a former naval base, reuse of historic buildings for affordable senior and family housing, renovation of HUD Section 8 expiring-use properties, supportive housing for people with special needs, and mixed-use, transit oriented developments. Citizens Housing's current portfolio includes over 3,000 units, more than 90% of which are affordable by low-income seniors and families earning between 30% to 60% of the area median income. For more information, please visit www.citizenshousing.org.

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