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MAP: Bay Area Affordable Housing Projects Impacted by Silicon Valley Bank's Collapse

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An aerial view of a large apartment building still under construction.
The Maceo May Apartments, an affordable housing project on Treasure Island, while still under construction in August 2022. The project was partly funded by a loan from Silicon Valley Bank. (Courtesy of Apartments.com)

The recent downfall of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has a number of major Bay Area affordable housing developers scrambling to find new lending options for projects that are desperately needed to address the region’s housing crisis.

KQED has so far identified 11 in-process or recently completed affordable housing projects in several Bay Area cities — comprising more than 1,000 units — dependent on loans from SVB, the Santa Clara-based lender that failed on Friday following a social media-fueled bank run.

“When we woke up Friday, it was like, ‘What do you mean SVB is going away?’” said Linda Mandolini, president of Eden Housing, an affordable housing developer with projects across the Bay Area, including three funded with SVB loans. Eden was also prepared to secure a loan with SVB for a new project later this spring, just as federal officials seized the bank’s $209 billion in assets.

SVB has loaned or invested nearly $2 billion to fund affordable housing projects in the Bay Area, according to its website.

“All of our financing is tied to time,” said Mandolini. “We don’t want to stop the projects.”

Since the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) stepped in Friday, Mandolini said, she has been assured that lines of credit from SVB will continue for projects already under construction — including the $42 million in loans SVB originally agreed to. But she said the bank’s collapse leaves many unanswered questions — even for Eden's already completed projects — like how much of the more than $50 million the bank promised in continued financing will now actually be available.

In San Francisco, at least five affordable housing projects at varying stages of development, comprising nearly 500 units, were largely funded by SVB loans and are now at risk. They include the 104-unit Maceo May development on Treasure Island, and the 135-unit Shirley Chisholm Village in the Outer Sunset.

The city, in partnership with Mercy Housing, was also preparing to finalize a loan contract with Silicon Valley Bank last week for the Kelsey Civic Center, a proposed 112-unit affordable housing development directly across the street from City Hall.

San Francisco officials say they are now seeking alternative lending and financing options.

“We are keeping an eye on other lenders that have worked with project sponsors on affordable housing,” said Anne Stanley, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. “Right now we are just trying to make sure the next step doesn’t result in any additional delays and new construction loans are consistent.”

Timing is everything in housing construction. The longer it takes to secure new deals, the more costs developers and housing providers absorb.

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“I’m very concerned. Anything that causes a delay or might disrupt financing or increase costs is a problem,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who has called on San Francisco and the state to rapidly ramp up affordable housing construction. “We don’t know what’s going to happen to these projects.”

Earlier this week, San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí sent a letter to San Francisco’s treasurer and other key city leaders requesting a report on the fiscal impact of the bank’s collapse on the city’s affordable housing projects and its retirement fund for public employees.

“This is on the top of everyone’s mind. It impacts our local economy in so many ways and this is something we need to take seriously and do everything we can,” he told KQED. “The response has been swift and strong, and I appreciate how the feds and Treasury are reacting to ensure depositors. We just have to monitor this and be as cautious and aware as possible.”

Despite the roller-coaster week, Mandolini of Eden Housing said she remained optimistic about finding a new lender for the affected projects without an interruption in the construction process.

“Because there is such a huge shortage of housing, banks feel this is a good place to achieve their community objectives,” she said. “It’s good, steady business for the banks. It’s not super glam but it’s good community-based business.”


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