Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Deal near on affordable units at Castro project that includes apartments for LGBT seniors

A deal to maintain affordable housing units in a Castro development alongside apartments for LGBT seniors is close to being finalized, the B.A.R. has learned.

Community groups have yet to formally sign off on the proposed agreement for the project known as 55 Laguna, on the site of the old UC Berkeley Extension campus (seen at right). But it is believed the compromise will be approved prior to next week’s Planning Commission hearing August 4.

As the B.A.R. reported earlier this month, Duboce Triangle and Hayes Valley residents, along with housing activists, objected to a plan proposed by developer Wood Partners and the Mayor’s Office of Housing where, rather than build the required 50 affordable apartments on-site, the company would instead pay a $17 million in lieu of fee to help pay for 110-units of affordable senior housing to be built by the LGBT agency Openhouse.

The negotiated agreement now calls for Wood Partners to set aside 32 below market rate units among its 330 market rate units and pay a $6.3 million in lieu of fee that would be used to cover Openhouse’s cost for its ground lease with UC.

The senior housing would remain affordable while the mayor’s housing office would commit to finding the funds elsewhere to buy back the remaining 18 units of below market rate housing in the larger development.

“It does look as if the activists get to declare a victory of sorts at 55 Laguna,” said AIDS Housing Alliance director Brian Basinger, one of the key negotiators of the deal.

— Matthew S. Bajko, July 27, 2011 @ 11:53 am PST
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