TODCO opens new affordable
senior housing center
Grand Opening yesterday
of the Eugene Coleman Community House
January 13, 2006
Some 129 low-income seniors yesterday celebrated opening of the
4th and Tehema Streets Eugene Coleman Community House.
The new HUD-assisted housing, developed by SOMA's longtime nonprofit
TODCO Group and located directly opposite the Moscone West Convention
Center, stands on a former overflow parking lot owned by the San
Francisco Housing Authority. It adds desperately needed new senior
housing for San Franciscans over 62 years of age to the otherwise
fully built-up Yerba Buena Redevelopment Area.
This $21 million development is a precedent-setting collaboration
between the community-based TODCO Group and the San Francisco
Housing Authority. In exchange for a 55-year ground lease for
the site, formerly part of the existing Clementina Towers Senior
Housing Development (and also adjacent to TODCO's Woolf House
senior housing), SFHA will receive future annual funding to support
resident services for the senior tenants of that 276 unit project
@ 75% of net revenues from retail space in the new Coleman House
building (with the other 25% funding resident services for Coleman
House tenants). And SFHA senior House tenants). And SFHA senior
waiting list applicants were given first priority to apply for
its very attractive new apartments, filling 68 of the units. According
to the Mayor's Office of Housing, most seniors in San Francisco
looking for affordable housing will face a wait of five years
or more. The lucky households that moved into Coleman House following
a lottery selection process when it opened last September pay
only 30% of their income for rent and enjoy large studio and one
bedroom apartments. Residents also share amenities such as a sheltered
interior Courtyard, brightly-painted Activities Rooms, a Recreation
Room, and the newly combined landscaped outdoor areas shared with
the residents of the Clementina Towers and Woolf House residences
- "Clementina Commons.'
Development of Coleman House was funded with: $11.4 million from
the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing; $7.5 million from
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development "Section
202 Program"; nearly $1 million from the San Francisco Redevelopment
Agency; $500,000 from the TODCO Group's Yerba Buena Housing Sites
Trust Fund; $425,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank's Affordable
Housing Program; and $65,000 from the Northern California Community
Loan Fund. HUD also provides the ongoing rent subsidy that makes
it possible for tenants to pay bargain rents of about $200 per
month for singles and $400 per month for couples.
Coleman House was designed by Kwan/Henmi Architecture/Planning,
and constructed by Cahill Contractors, both distinguished San
Francisco firms well-known for their affordable housing projects.
The building is named after Eugene Coleman, a long-time community
leader in South of Market and San Francisco, and presently a senior
official of the Mayor's Office of Community Development. Gene
Coleman was the much-loved director of the Canon Kip Community
Center in South of Market from 1965 to 1985, and was one of the
TODCO's founders in 1971 along with the members of TOOR who opposed
the Redevelopment Agency's demolition of their community for the
Yerba Buena Center project.
Eugene Coleman at left
In the four decades since, he has witnessed the rebirth of an
entirely new Yerba Buena Neighborhood in its place. The building's
prominent "COMMUNITY" sign in large red letters above
Howard Street reminds all passers-by that the Yerba Buena Neighborhood
is not just a convention and cultural center, but also the place
that 2,000 senior residents are all proud to call "Home."
Moscovite expats Marat and Tatyana Marglina in the kitchen
of their low-income housing unit. Tatyana is holding a Hohloma,
a popular form of Russian decorative art.