Business with a Mission in San Francisco
Jun 28, 2012
San Francisco’s cost of living is 66 percent higher than the national average. The cost of living coupled with shrinking public budgets for affordable housing initiatives and investments can present serious economic hurdles for low-income residents. One neighborhood in particular that has been faced with this urban affordability crisis is the Tenderloin, home to roughly 25,000 people and the highest poverty rate of any other neighborhood in the City.
Since 1981, the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) has been committed to making the Tenderloin and its surrounding neighborhoods a better place to live. The organization works to provide safe and affordable housing options and other supportive services to low-income people in the community. TNDC owns, manages and provides services in approximately 2,500 affordable housing units. In addition to housing, the organization operates a community garden and an afterschool program where nearly 200 students can get homework help or meet with a mentor.
“San Francisco is the most expensive housing market in the country, but in addition, many low income people live here. So there’s a real contrast that in a city of such wealth, there are so many people who are homeless and-and low income,” said Don Falk, executive director of Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation.
Bank of America and TNDC have worked closely together for nearly twenty years. Over that time, Bank of America has become a major partner of TNDC, investing more than $50 million in Tenderloin projects.
“You can’t live or visit San Francisco without noticing our homeless problem, and everyone recognizes it to be a real problem. Certainly a large part of the solution is providing affordable housing. TNDC goes above and beyond that, providing the necessary services required to keep that tenant in their home,” said Gabriel Speyer, client manager, Community Development Banking Division, Bank of America.
Bank of America also awarded TNDC with a Neighborhood Builder Award in 2010 to support the organization’s efforts to move beyond the basics of shelter and subsistence and towards healthy living. The grant is helping TNDC expand health services for formerly homeless people at the historic YMCA building on Golden Gate Avenue and supporting the organization’s efforts to bring a full-service grocery store to the neighborhood.
“When it comes to grant making, Bank of America really understands how to think about what community development corporations like TNDC need in order to survive and thrive in the world. They bring real expertise to financing affordable housing projects and the potential to meet our financing needs in a wide variety of ways,” added Falk.
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