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New Affordable Housing Resources for SF Artists

Updated: Jun 12, 2023 10:51
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If you are like us, you’re tired of losing San Francisco artists and creatives to eviction and displacement because of skyrocketing housing costs.  The good news is there is some recent money and support being set aside for affordable housing specifically for artists and nonprofit workers in SF.  18% of all new housing stock in SF is meant to be kept as ‘affordable housing’, which is important considering the median rent for a one-bed in San Francisco is currently the highest in the country at $3,370/month (that’s over $40k a year just for rent).

If you are an artist (or know an artist) who may need help with all the paperwork or to find out if you have the right income level (AMI) to qualify for affordable housing, the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) is stepping up to help you out.  The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) awarded a $115,000 grant to MEDA to assist artists and nonprofit cultural workers with accessing the City’s affordable housing stock.

Via – Kate Paterson of SFAC

“San Francisco’s highly competitive real estate market continues to prove challenging for many artists and cultural workers. Our aim through this partnership is to keep artists in San Francisco by helping those who income qualify navigate the City’s affordable housing opportunities,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny. “We are happy that we can provide free housing technical assistance for artists and nonprofit cultural workers with Mission Economic Development Agency, who excels at this work.”

With this grant, MEDA will provide coaching and counseling over the next year to San Francisco-based artists and cultural workers to support their ability to enter into the Below-Market-Rate (BMR) rental and home-purchasing programs. While MEDA is based in the Mission District, the program is open to artists living throughout San Francisco. Artists currently living outside San Francisco who have been displaced or evicted from San Francisco over the past two years (2015-2017) are also eligible.

Explains MEDA Director of Asset Building Programs Lucy Arellano, “MEDA has been successfully getting our clients into safe, secure and quality housing. These clients include a number of artists, at risk of eviction because of escalating housing costs in San Francisco, especially in the Mission. MEDA is also prepared to provide financial coaching, job training, tax preparation and other free services, as a means to strengthening the San Francisco arts community.”

Artists can contact MEDA at (415) 282-3334 ext. 126 or for assistance.

About the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC)
The San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment and shaping innovative cultural policy. Our programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Investments, Public Art, SFAC Galleries and Street Artist Licensing. To learn more visit,

About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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