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Ed Lee ponies up $40 million and site for city’s first teacher housing

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It’s about time

Mission High School, a mission revival building with an elaborate baroque bell tower.
Mission High School.
Photo by Fabien CAMBI

Back in 2000, Sunset District residents killed a plan to create subsidized housing for teachers in the city. Appalling. But what a difference seventeen years and an article makes.

After reading Heath Knight’s piece in the San Francisco Chronicle this week—a story about Etoria Cheeks, a 35-year-old public school teacher with a master’s degree, who ended up homeless due, in part, to the city’s crippling housing crisis—San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee coughed up both a site and a cool $40 million for the city’s first residence for public school teachers.

Behold:

In consultation with Olson Lee, his director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing, Ed Lee has picked a site for teacher housing: the Francis Scott Key Annex at 1360 43rd Ave. in the Outer Sunset. He said he will commit $40 million in city money to build 130 to 150 rental units of teacher housing and will seek a developer as soon as possible.

And the fact that it’s being built in the Sunset District is delicious icing on this long overdue cake. Once the granular details are finalized, teachers could move in as soon as 2022.

Unfortunately, this will be too late for Cheeks who already turned in her resignation with plans of finding greener pastures elsewhere.

“I told the story and was as transparent as I could be, and they were very, very supportive,” Cheeks told the Chronicle. “My story is what a lot of people are going through. A lot of my students have had to relocate in the middle of the school year because of the same issues. I was a voice for that and in a way I spoke for them.”

Read the entire follow-up and weep with joy, a first for any story about housing and San Francisco.