Mayor pitches below-market housing for 16th and South Van Ness

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee introduced a proposal to city legislators Wednesday¬†to build below-market rate apartments at 16th Street and South Van Ness Avenue, according to the mayor’s office.

The proposal is meant to provide more housing for residents who cannot afford typical apartments, which cost $2,225 per month in the second quarter of 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

If the board approves the proposal, 72 below-average priced apartments will be built at 490 Van Ness Avenue, according to the mayor’s office. Before the mayor’s proposal, JCN Developers were planning to build housing that would have cost residents the average rate.

Mayor Lee said in a statement:

“We must build more housing and stabilize the Mission where two-thirds of residents are low and moderate income families. … The Mission is the center of Latino culture in the Bay Area and remains one of our City’s most beloved neighborhoods.”

The mayor is asking the board to approve an $18.5 million purchase and sale agreement that would result in a 7-story, 90,947 square foot building. The building would have retail space at the ground floor.

A representative of the mayor’s office wasn’t immediately available to say how much retail space will be built.

The apartments will be available to families of three who earn no more than $55,000 a year and families of four who earn no more than $61,150 a year, according to the mayor’s office.

Supervisor David Campos, who represents Mission residents on the Board of Supervisors, said:

“This represents another victory for the people of the Mission who have called upon the City to prioritize the limited land left in the Mission for affordable housing.”

A comparison of the benefits and costs of new below average cost housing shows the benefits to residents are about twice the costs to the city, according to the city’s Office of Economic Analysis.

The board will consider the proposal July 28, according to the mayor’s office. If approved, the city could close the sale 30 days later.