SAN FRANCISCO-The nonprofit Institute on Aging has kicked off construction of a $101 million, six-story seniors housing project called the Senior Campus, at 3575 Geary Blvd. The project, in San Francisco’s Richmond District, in addition to adding 150 affordable housing units to the city’s seniors stock will be the center of operations for many of the support services provided by Institute on Aging.

The project is a partnership between the institute and Bridge Housing, one of California’s largest nonprofit affordable housing developers. The units will range from studios to two-bedroom apartments.

Financing for the development includes $41.4 million that the institute received from Cal-Mortgage, a program of the State of California that funds healthcarefacilities serving vulnerable populations. The San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Housing has contributed $24 million to the project.

Dr. David Werdegar, president and CEO of the IOA, says that the group knows of no other project combining such a wide range of senior services with independent apartment units under one roof. In addition to providing housing for local seniors, Werdegar says, the institute hopes that the new project “willhave far-reaching impact by demonstrating an innovative approach to seniorcare that other communities will wish to replicate.”

The Senior Campus was designed to meet what the institute describes as “an urgent need for affordable services and housing in a rapidly aging metropolitan area.” One in five San Franciscans is age 60 or older, the largest proportion of older adults of any major American city, according to the institute. A recent report by the Department of Aging and Adult Services estimated that one-third of San Franciscans age 75 and older live in poverty.

The IOA has raised more than $14 million in a program that aims to raise $18 million in capitalto support the project. The institute expects to open the property by the end of 2010.

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