AFTER FOUR YEARS of living under the threat of eviction, two multigenerational families in San Francisco’s Mission District have secured a permanent place to live.

Generations of the Shauf and Hernandez families have lived in the residences for nearly 40 years and have been a staple of the Mission community.

Amidst rising rent costs and increased displacement, housing advocates have secured funding from a program in San Francisco that is intended to permanently preserve affordable housing. 

The Small Sites Program, which was first launched in 2014, works to establish long-term affordable housing in smaller properties throughout the city that are vulnerable to property sales, evictions and rising tenant rents that comes from market pressure, according to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, who operates and provides subsidies for the program.

The program serves low- to middle-income residents, with most properties so far being concentrated in lower income neighborhoods of the city, including the Tenderloin, Excelsior and Mission, according to the city of San Francisco Planning website.

“I am so grateful that we will remain here in the building where I raised my children.”

Evelyn Shauf, resident

The Mission District — where the Shauf and Hernandez residence is — is particularly vulnerable to gentrification, the website added.

The families faced the potential of an Ellis Act eviction, whereby landlords can evict all the tenants in the units of a rental property at once, then take them off of the rental market. 

To prevent the eviction, the Mission Economic Development Agency, a nonprofit housing developer, acquired the property, which is a nearly 3,000 square foot multi-family home on Sycamore Street close to the 16th Street Mission BART station. 

The two families, who have lived at the residence since 1985, include children, elders and individuals with disabilities.

Clarion Alley in San Francisco’s Mission District, which is between Mission and Valencia Streets and 17th and 18th Streets and is filled with murals painted by the Clarion Alley Mural Project. (Google Maps via Bay City News)

“Whether helping with transportation, sharing food, or looking after one another’s kids, they’ve helped build a strong community who care through their actions,” said Megan Wilson, co-director of the Clarion Alley Mural Project, which is a public art initiative to fill the walls of Clarion Alley in the Mission District.

“My family and I had lived in this building for 40 years,” said resident Evelyn Shauf. “I am so grateful that we will remain here in the building where I raised my children.”

Residents Robert and Lourdes Hernandez stated that with the new acquisition, they now have “peace of mind.”

The agency plans to add two accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, which will turn the building from a three-unit to a five-unit building.

Lydia Sidhom is a rising third-year at UC Berkeley studying Data Science and Political Science. She is a Dow Jones News Fund intern for Bay City News. Lydia was a lead beat reporter, deputy news editor and projects developer for The Daily Californian and will be a deputy projects editor there this fall. She enjoys telling stories through data. In her free time, Lydia loves to read, bake and travel.