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SAN FRANCISCO-Mercy Housing California rededicated Marlton Manor last week, marking the successful retention and renovation of a 151-unit affordable housing development in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

Built in 1924, Marlton Manor is located at 240 Jones St. and provides affordable studio and one-bedroom apartments to low-income people, many of whom are seniors, formerly homeless individuals, and people with disabilities. In 1999, the property was at risk of being sold and converted to market rate apartments. In repsonse, its residents organized themselves into the Marlton Manor Tenants Council with the assistance of Agape Outreach Center, and then partnered Mercy Housing California and A. F. Evans in the acquisition, renovation and preservation of the property as affordable housing.

The acquisition and renovation of Marlton Manor was made possible through financing from Alliant Capital, Citibank, Fannie Mae and the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. Through Alliant Capital Inc., Fannie Mae provided $10.7 million in equity in exchange for Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

The $7.5-million renovation, which got under way in 2002, consisted of a seismic retrofit, apartment and systems upgrades, the creation of accessible units for people with physical disabilities, expansion of common space for residents and a new computer learning center. The renovation also included improvement to ground floor retail space. A small grocery store and a credit union will occupy the retail space, with a third space to be occupied by a restaurant or specialty grocer serving the entire neighborhood.

The six-story Marlton Manor consists of a ground floor and mezzanine with five residential floors of 30 apartments each. Each of the 151 apartments is subsidized by the Section 8 program so that residents pay only 30% of their income for rent. These rental subsidies from HUD allow Marlton Manor to provide quality housing for people at extremely low and fixed incomes who cannot afford to rent in the local housing market. According to the 2002 National Low Income Housing Coalition’s report, Out of Reach, in the city an extremely low-income household (earning $25,830, 30% of the Area Median Income of $86,100) can afford monthly rent of no more than $646, while the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom unit is $1,940. Local residents will have to earn $37.31 per hour, or 597% of the present minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

Marlton Manor is managed by Mercy Services Corp., Mercy Housing’s property management company. Mercy Housing California provides affordable housing to about 26,000 people in 82 properties throughout the state.

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