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June 25, 2024
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Freedom West Homes Corporation Secures $27 Mil in Funding Commitments for Housing for People of Color in San Francisco


Freedom West Homes Corporation, a nonprofit limited equity housing co-operative in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, has secured $27 mil in funding commitments to-date to catalyze its revitalization providing low-income families of color with housing stability and the preservation of multi-generational wealth transfer of co-op housing ownership in the second-most expensive city to live in the United States. The funding milestone includes the latest impact investment of $5 mil in Freedom West 2.0 from CommonSpirit.

“Communities of color have been hit hardest by redevelopment and our housing crisis,” said Senator Scott Wiener, author of SB593 the San Francisco Housing Replacement Act, which was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month, in his keynote. “This bill is about opening the door to justice for them, and about helping our City meet its state-mandated housing goals. SB 593 can provide the pathway to the funding needed to enable community driven projects like Freedom West to combine with private capital needed to preserve and build affordable housing so that low-income people of color can remain in, and more families can return to, San Francisco.”

SB 593 creates a tax increment financing structure to replace 5,800 affordable homes San Francisco lost during the Urban Renewal” when neighborhoods suffered widespread clearance, mass demolition, and relocation of communities, particularly lower income communities and communities of color like the Fillmore / Western Addition where Freedom West is located.

“Prior to SB 593 there has been no city, state or federal funding available for housing co-ops in California,” said Victor MacFarlane, Founder and Executive Chairman of MacFarlane Partners, the exclusive master development partner for Freedom West 2.0. “With this critical legislative victory and the commitment of our capital partners, we have achieved a public-private partnership model that will preserve and deliver to the Freedom West residents the long-term housing stability and economic self-sustainability originally promised to them 50 years ago.”

The nonprofit housing co-op was originally sponsored and built by Bethel AME Church in 1973 in the wake of government-sponsored Urban Renewal in the 1950s and 1960s which devastated the Fillmore/Western Addition neighborhood by displacing more than 20,000 residents and closing over 800 businesses, most of whom were never able to return.

The Freedom West 2.0 revitalization plan will rebuild all 382 units of affordable housing while also adding additional affordable rental units and 20k sf of commercial real estate to be owned by the co-op. This expansion to the Freedom West community will create additional sources of long-term revenue. Plans for the commercial space include a 6k sf state-of-the art STEM Innovation Center designed to provide residents and the surrounding community with access to the equipment, training, employers, and funding needed to secure high-paying jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities in the 21st Century tech and science-driven economy.

The $27 mil in funding commitments that have enabled Freedom West to achieve operational stabilization and prepare for Freedom West 2.0 revitalization were highlighted during the partner recognition segment of the Freedom West 50th Year Anniversary Celebration this past Saturday. Funding partners to date include Bethel AME Church, JP Morgan Chase, MacFarlane Partners, Avanath Capital Management who also serves as co-development partner and property manager for Freedom West, Low Income Investment Fund, Common Spirit, The San Francisco Foundation, Menorah Park and the City of San Francisco.

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