55 Mason Street

The Ambassador Hotel was acquired by TNDC in 1999 after the building had fallen into such deplorable conditions that many of the building’s long-term residents (including those with HIV/AIDs) and the social service agencies that served them had to move out. TNDC stabilized the building with interim life-safety and unit repairs while preparing two years of development activities including design work, relocation planning for the existing tenants, and service planning. Construction on the Ambassador was completed in 2003 and included the rehab of 134 SRO units with private baths, 3 community kitchens, expansion of the hotel’s lobby, new laundry rooms and the construction of a new, 1-story social services addition. The building was seismically retrofitted and all systems, including the elevators, were replaced or upgraded. 50 of the 134 units were subsidized by the HUD McKinney Shelter Plus Care Section 8 rental assistance program and house Shelter+Care, HOPWA and special needs tenants. The remaining units are available to the general population earning 50% or less of the area median income. On-site services are provided by TNDC. The project was financed by the Prop A and CDBG funds administered by the Mayor’s Office of Housing, HOPWA funds from the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program, 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and conventional loans by Wells Fargo Bank/California Housing Finance Agency, and Cal Fed Bank.

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