Bruce Damonte Photography

Tahanan was built in half the time and for 30% less cost than traditional housing for people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco.

Mercy Housing California hit these impressive targets after Tipping Point Community and the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund provided upfront philanthropic funding for the project, setting ambitious goals of developing the community for less than $400,000 per unit, significantly below the city’s average of $600,000 per unit, and completing the building within three years.

Thanks to the early funding, Mercy Housing California was able to start development activities at the time of site acquisition in 2018. A new state policy, SB 35, helped streamline the approval process, including obtaining entitlements within about 90 days. And, modular design carved time off time from the construction period.

“Tahanan is in some ways the culmination of years of many different innovations coming together in one project,” says Doug Shoemaker, president of Mercy Housing California. “It brings together a unique capital structure, modular housing, and some of the best land-use reforms in California.”

Bruce Damonte Photography

Completed last November, the $53 million development features 145 permanent supportive housing units—all studio apartments for the city’s most vulnerable residents.

Residents receive on-site services provided by Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco. These wraparound services include case management, service coordination, substance abuse services, links to vocational training, and health and wellness programming.

Looking forward, Mercy Housing officials see many of the strategies used at Tahanan becoming a blueprint for producing more service-enriched housing for people exiting homelessness.