A historic San Francisco landmark has been rehabilitated into the city’s first LGBT-welcoming affordable senior housing community.

With many LGBT seniors lacking support systems, living through discrimination, or dealing with health complications from HIV/AIDS, The Openhouse Community at 55 Laguna aims to help residents 55 and older overcome the unique challenges they face with safe, affordable housing and on-site services so they can age in place and engage with the surrounding city.

Mercy Housing California partnered with Openhouse, a San Francisco nonprofit specializing in helping LGBT seniors, on the 40-unit development.

“Openhouse’s mission is based around the specific needs of LGBT elders,” says Sharon Christen, housing developer at Mercy Housing California. “Openhouse occupies a commercial space in 55 Laguna, which helps to solidify that the building is for LGBT elders.”

Units are affordable for residents with incomes set at 40%, 45%, and 50% of the area median income. Eight of the units are set aside for homeless seniors with HIV/AIDS under the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS and McKinney Shelter Plus Care programs.

The development team transformed what was most recently known as Richardson Hall, built in 1924, on the former University of California at Berkeley Extension campus. Extensive work was done on the adaptive-reuse project, including the salvaging of murals that had been covered by paint by previous building operators.

55 Laguna is part of a four-block redevelopment that will include market-rate, below-market, and affordable senior homes to revitalize and reintegrate the UC Berkeley Extension campus back into the surrounding neighborhood. UC Berkeley also provided a 99-year ground lease.

The $29 million development, which held its grand opening in March, was financed with 9% low-income housing tax credit equity through Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.