Marin Community Foundation
It has been a big year for the construction of new homes creating affordable homeownership. In the last quarter of the 2023, alongside hundreds of volunteers and our future homeowners, construction was completed on eight townhomes in San Francisco and we welcomed two families home in Bolinas. Each project is unique to the community it is built within, but with the similarity that each successfully brought affordable homeownership to a neighborhood where it has been historically lacking.
We are partnering with the Bolinas Community Land Trust to build four homes for local families. Construction of the first two was completed earlier in 2023 and the final two will be complete in 2024. Uniquely for Habitat Greater San Francisco, these homes are largely prefabricated and then installed on sites which have had the foundations carefully prepared.
Fulfilling the wishes of his late mother, Mischa Seligman along with his wife Brigitte, generously donated the land on Amber Drive in San Francisco on which eight affordable condominiums now sit. Since the end of our fiscal year, these homes have been completed and eight long-time San Francisco families, who have previously been excluded from the opportunity of homeownership, will soon call them home. These families now have the stability of an affordable and predictable housing payment and can stay in their community, near to their children’s schools, their work, and their families.
Our home dedications are joyful events that bring together our community to celebrate and welcome Habitat Greater San Francisco homeowners to their new homes and into their new neighborhoods. We had two such occasions for celebrations in the Fall of 2023, one in San Francisco in December and the other in Bolinas in October.
Alongside Bolinas Community Land Trust, we welcomed two new homeowners in Bolinas, Marin County. These homeowners were born and raised in Bolinas and with their new homes, their future there is now more secure. This area of Marin County, like many towns in our region, lacks affordable housing options and we are thrilled to be part of bringing affordable homeownership to this community.
Over the year, these families have been actively preparing for first-time homeownership with financial literacy classes and putting in time helping to build homes alongside their neighbors completing sweat equity, we are thrilled to have handed over the keys and see these families move into their new homes.
Homeownership is at the heart of what we do and alongside building new homes, we are ramping up our efforts to preserve existing homes for long-time residents (like Opal, pictured left) through our Home Preservation program. Over the past year we have expanded this program, enabling us to provide the most critical home repairs to the clients we partner with.
In the years ahead, the share of all US households age 65 and over will rise: from 26 percent in 2018 to 34 percent in 2038. With the age of heads of household increasing, and this population oftentimes being on fixed incomes, so too does the need for affordable repairs to help keep people in their homes.
Our homes are built with careful consideration for the needs of the homeowner, community and environment. At Habitat Greater San Francisco we strive to receive at least a Platinum GreenPoint rating on all of our new construction projects, and our goal is to achieve net-zero whenever feasible.
In March 2023, along with our partner, GRID Alternatives, we were honored to host White House National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi and his team (pictured right with Maureen Sedonaen) at our development on Amber Drive in San Francisco. We demonstrated how we are able to produce affordable, energy efficient homes. The architecture of the complex was specifically designed to accommodate solar panels and we are proud that these all-electric homes will be powered exclusively by renewable energy.
We are grateful to have so many philanthropic partners across the spectrum of giving. From a Habitat Greater San Francisco Homeowner who gives $100 per month toward our mission, to a family foundation that is consistently and deeply engaged in learning about the housing crisis and our needs across their generations and provides significant support that keeps us moving forward. There are also several local organizations who continue to show their strong support of affordable homeownership.
Many prominent corporate philanthropic groups came forward to sponsor our marquee event Framing the Future at San Francisco City Hall. Our long-time partners at Marin Community Foundation continue to support us as we expand and develop multiple projects across Marin County. We are able to bring the only 100% affordable Homeownership opportunities to this part of our region through their Housing initiative and the generosity of the many families who hold Donor Advised Funds at the Foundation.
The housing crisis in our communities, our state and across our region specifically continues, and while we are ramping up our homebuilding and home preservation to help to meet this ongoing lack of supply, we are encouraged by and so very thankful for the organizations and individuals in the Bay Area we partner with who support and invest in our affordable homeownership mission.
It will take a variety of solutions and the actions of many allies to address the lack of access to affordable housing in the Bay Area, and we are encouraged by the partnerships we are continuing to make in our region who are dedicated to making change.
Habitat Greater San Francisco is honored to be a strong and highly influential advocate for affordable housing measures, and in San Francisco specifically for leaning in to support sensible measures such as Proposition D. While it didn’t pass, it bought significant awareness to what we do at Habitat Greater San Francisco to sustain and build homeownership opportunities.
In good advocacy news, in conjunction with our colleagues across California we successfully got 11 bills in front of the Governor for his signature. Additionally, we were successful in getting Governor Newsom to return $50M in allocation for Cal Home, one of the only public funds in CA for 100% Affordable Homeownership.
In February 2023, Habitat Greater San Francisco CEO, Maureen Sedonaen joined hundreds of other affordable housing advocates for the annual Habitat of the Hill event. There they met with over 300 policy makers to discuss how to solve the housing crisis together.
Debra is one of eight homeowners who qualified for her new home at Amber Drive in Diamond Heights this past fiscal year. She worked on her sweat equity hours over the last year along with her future neighbors and will be moving into her home along with her two grandchildren soon.
Debra is a retired schoolteacher and currently a facilitator supporting families caring for other people’s children. Debra, along with her two grandchildren aged seven and eight for whom she is a guardian, will soon move into their Habitat Greater San Francisco home on Amber Drive.
Having lived here since 1969, San Francisco is home to Debra. She was raised here and raised her children here. Sadly, two of her adult children have passed away, so remaining in San Francisco is particularly important to Debra, as she told us, “My memories are here for my kids. And it’s not a day that passes that I pass by a location or somewhere that reminds me of them. So, that’s why I’m really grateful for this opportunity to be able to have my own house and to have a legacy for my grandchildren.”
It’s been a challenge to be able to afford to remain in the city of San Francisco. Previously, Debra moved out to Emeryville and South San Francisco, but always ended up back in the city she loves, San Francisco, where her network is and where she had more support in caring for her grandchildren. As Debra told us, “Being a homeowner is going to be so much more secure, is going to be the beginning of a legacy for not only my grandchildren, but I’m hoping for future generations.”
Debra has tried other affordable housing routes but found that as a senior who is also the caregiver to young children, her options were limited. As Debra said about her home search, “with this opportunity with Habitat Greater San Francisco, I am included, my family is included. And not only that, but I will also be surrounded by other families. So, it is definitely the missing piece.”
Along with those future neighbor families, Debra has undertaken her sweat equity. A core element of the Habitat Greater San Francisco homeownership model, where future homeowners work alongside volunteers to help build their homes and those of their neighbors. Debra was grateful for this opportunity, saying, “I’m grateful I went through the process and even having the opportunity to do the sweat equity has been a real exciting experience just to be able to go look at the property and see how it’s changed and progressed.”
Beyond being able to remain in San Francisco, homeownership is very meaningful for Debra, she stated, “It’s a sense of pride. I feel more stable. I feel more secure. You know, I am a retired person, but most of my friends that are homeowners, they’ve left the city. So, I’m just so excited to be a homeowner and to be in San Francisco.”
Debra along with her grandchildren, and the other seven families will be moving into their Diamond Heights homes in the coming months.
Net Assets $30,352,840
* Includes: gain on disposal of property and equipment, and other income
** Includes: bequests, faith organizations and other non-profit organizations
With the launch of our ambitious Comprehensive Campaign, Building Families a Future, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco has bold plans for the future to double our impact in our region. How will we accomplish this? With our partners and supporters, we are doubling the number of homes we build and doubling the number of critical home repairs and rehabs we conduct over the next 4 years. We have a strong pipeline of projects to support this growth.
Marin Community Foundation
The PG&E Corporation Foundation
Sand Hill Foundation
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation
Gilead Sciences, Inc.