Vera Haile Senior Housing provides 90 units of affordable housing for seniors above the well-known St. Anthony Foundation’s Dining Room and Social Work Center in San Francisco.

St. Anthony’s has been feeding the city’s neediest for the past 65 years, and its longtime building needed significant structural reinforcing and repairs. The organization took the opportunity to team with Mercy Housing California to redevelop the site with a taller, better building.

St. Anthony’s has created a larger dining room on the ground floor that serves more than 3,000 meals a day. An adjacent center encourages diners to participate in other services. Mercy Housing purchased the air rights above to develop the housing on floors three through 10.

Named after longtime community activist Vera Haile, the development targets seniors earning no more than 50% of the area median income, with 18 units for formerly homeless individuals. Eighty-seven units operate under the Sec. 202 project rental assistance program, and three units operate as part of the city’s Local Operating Support Program, so all the apartments have a vital rental subsidy.

“This site has been a critical part of San Francisco’s safety net for the last 60 years, and the creation of affordable senior housing and the redeveloped St. Anthony Dining Room and Social Work Center ensure that it will continue as [such] for many more generations,” says Sharon Christen, housing developer at Mercy.

The LEED Silver building is part of an important stretch in the Tenderloin neighborhood and is conveniently located across the street from St. Anthony’s health clinic.

The $41.8 million housing project was financed using multiple sources of funding, including 4% low-income housing tax credit equity from National Equity Fund.

In a sign of current demand for affordable housing, Mercy Housing received nearly 5,000 applications for the apartments.