San Francisco Silvercrest rehabilitation underway
by Jennifer Byrd –
DIGNITARIES BREAK GROUND for the rehabilitation of the Silvercrest residence in San Francisco.
San Francisco city officials recently joined The Salvation Army in celebrating the rehabilitation of its 257-unit Silvercrest residence for low-income seniors. For the first time since investing in affordable housing across the country, The Salvation Army utilized private sector financing to fully renovate and maintain the affordability of one of its large-scale seniors residences. The sunny weather matched the jubilant mood as business leaders, financing partners and other community members were treated to a performance of The Salvation Army band and a tour of the site. City officials applauded the deal saying, “The Salvation Army’s Silvercrest property is a model for how nonprofit and private sector partners can leverage resources to maintain affordable housing in the City. This public/private partnership is upwards of $40 million, and the City didn’t have to put up one penny. You got creative and you found a way with your own resources.” Built in 1973, the Silvercrest was one of The Salvation Army’s first affordable housing properties in San Francisco. “We are so thrilled that we were able to create a way in which we could rehabilitate the Silvercrest residence,” said Lt. Colonel Bettie Love, city administrator. “As housing prices continue to soar in San Francisco, we will continue to work to improve the quality of life for low income seniors in the City.” The Salvation Army, which traditionally relied on Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) financing for the development of affordable senior housing, was able to leverage $29.5 million from private-sector tax-exempt bonds to refinance its existing loan to keep the units affordable, and to rehabilitate the property. The renovation is expected to be complete by fall of 2005, and will consist of upgraded apartments, extensive earthquake retrofitting, and a new community center and exercise facility. All rental units at Silvercrest Residences are reserved for senior households whose incomes do not exceed 50 percent of the area median income ($47,500), with rents starting at $990 for a studio and $1,060 for a one-bedroom apartment. Tenants may also use HUD Section 8 rental assistance vouchers. The unique financing structure for Silvercrest Residences was made possible through numerous partners, including Bank of America, Fannie Mae, GMACCM Affordable Housing Division and Enterprise Social Investment Corporation. Additional partners of Silvercrest Residences include Swinerton Builders, KodamaDiseño Architects & Planners, and Hill, Devine & Gong financial and development consultants. “Fannie Mae has a shared mission with The Salvation Army and the Silvercrest partners to serve the housing needs of seniors who may not have the resources to maintain a decent quality of life,” said Sheila Burks, director, Fannie Mae Bay Area Partnership Office. “There are many challenges seniors can face, and we don’t want housing to be one of them,” said Love. “We are looking forward to when the renovations are finished and our seniors will be living in their refurbished quarters. Not only will they be able to continue to live in safe, high quality accommodations, but they won’t be forced out of the city and away from their families. As we head into our twilight years, being close to family and friends can give us all the comfort in the world.”