San Francisco

San Francisco Converting Hotels Into ‘Step Up' Housing for Homeless

NBC Bay Area

Two single occupancy hotels in San Francisco are being converted into "step up" housing for the homeless. Officials said 151 new units will be available this spring.

Mayor London Breed announced the plans Tuesday while also calling for more police and a more aggressive approach to addressing the city's homeless problems.

Breed said homelessness is the city's top priority, but adds San Francisco is running out of patience. Open air drug dealing, car break-ins and homeless camps cannot be allowed to continue, the mayor said.

The mayor on Tuesday also toured the Abigail Hotel just a few doors from City Hall. The 62-unit building is being refurbished into so-called step up housing.

"(It) will help people who are formerly homeless get a great and safe and affordable place to call home without the social services, so it's not as expensive as someone who might need a lot more support and wrap around services," Breed said.

The Post Hotel near Union Square will add another 89 apartments. Both the Abigail and Post hotels will be ready by spring, adding to the city's collection of nearly 8,000 units.

But that is not nearly enough, said Breed, who adds it is going to take hard decision that make people uncomfortable.

"Like building shelters and affordable housing in neighborhoods that they traditionally were not," Breed said.

And as for allowing people to live on the streets, the mayor said: "San Francisco for so long has been a welcoming city, a compassionate city. But I think a lot of our patience has run out because we know that what we see is not acceptable."

Meanwhile, San Francisco passed a $600 million housing bond, which Breed said is going to be a huge help.

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