Swords to Plowshares and Chinatown Community Development Center Celebrate the Grand Opening and One-Year Anniversary of Edwin M. Lee Apartments in Mission Bay

With 118 units of housing for formerly homeless veterans and low-income families, Edwin M. Lee Apartments will contribute to San Francisco’s efforts to significantly reduce veteran homelessness.

San Francisco, May 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, Swords to Plowshares and Chinatown Community Development Center are hosting the grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony of San Francisco’s newest housing development for homeless veterans in nearly ten years, the first-ever mixed-use site for veterans and non-veteran families. Speaker Nancy Pelosi will join Mayor London Breed, Vito Imbasciani, Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, and nonprofit leadership on-site to commemorate the project.  

The grand opening event will take place from 11 am – 12 pm at 1150 3rd Street in San Francisco. Guests will be limited to speakers delivering live remarks, limited staff, and press. The event will also be live-streamed for guests to join virtually.

Spearheaded by community-based nonprofit organizations, Swords to Plowshares, a veteran service agency, and Chinatown Community Development Center, an established developer, the housing project now provides permanent housing and on-site supportive services to 62 formerly homeless veterans with disabilities and 56 low-income families.  

“New housing development is a massive undertaking. An impressive project like this one that pulls together key partners from federal, state, and local leadership deserves the recognition and celebration the COVID crisis didn’t let us have when we officially opened late February of 2020,” said Michael Blecker, Swords to Plowshares’ Executive Director.  

Edwin M. Lee Apartments residents are single and formerly homeless veterans with disabilities and low-income families from a variety of backgrounds. On-site supportive services provided by Swords to Plowshares, Chinatown Community Development Center, and the Department of Veterans Affairs are tailored to meet the specialized needs of the residents. 

“Naming this building after Mayor Lee is appropriate on so many levels. He helped secure the federal and local commitments to make the project happen. He also brought affordable housing into the center of our collective consciousness as a city and allowed the local policy to work in favor of affordable housing,” said Malcolm Yeung, Chinatown CDC’s Executive Director.  "To me, Mayor Edwin M. Lee will always be San Francisco’s affordable housing mayor.” 

The land for Edwin M. Lee Apartments was made available through the City and County of San Francisco as a redevelopment parcel. The late Mayor Edwin M. Lee was instrumental in designating the site for veterans and raising preliminary funds from the local tech community. Funders for Edwin M. Lee Apartments, a $78M project, include: San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, California Community Reinvestment Corporation, California Housing and Community Development, FHL Bank, San Francisco, the California Department of Veteran’s Affair’s Veterans Housing and Homelessness Program, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Wells Fargo Bank as the construction lender and investor. Design and construction partners include Nibbi Brothers Construction, Leddy Maytum Stacey Architects, Saida Sullivan Design Partners, and Design Studios Gonzalo Castro.  

In addition to Swords to Plowshares’ existing supportive housing programs, which provide homes to hundreds of veterans each year, Edwin M. Lee Apartments will contribute to San Francisco’s efforts to significantly reduce veteran homelessness. 

“After 45 years serving homeless and at-risk veterans in San Francisco, we know that stability and the path to recovery start with housing,” said Blecker. “For veterans who suffer from poverty, lack of support network, PTSD, and other disabilities, permanent supportive housing is the solution that will save their lives.” 

About Swords to Plowshares 
Founded in 1974, Swords to Plowshares is a community-based not-for-profit organization that provides counseling and case management, rapid re-housing and eviction prevention services, employment and training, supportive housing, and legal benefits assistance for low-income, homeless and at-risk veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area. Swords to Plowshares promotes and protects the rights of veterans through advocacy, public education, and partnerships with local, state, and national entities. 

About Chinatown Community Development Center 
Founded in 1977, Chinatown Community Development Center’s (Chinatown CDC) goal is to build affordable housing, develop grassroots leadership, and empower low-income residents and youth for civic engagement in San Francisco. Chinatown CDC owns and/or manages 25 properties in San Francisco, totaling 2,500 units of affordable housing for nearly 3,000 low-income seniors, formerly homeless adults, and families. Chinatown CDC’s residents are diverse and speak 14 languages including English, Chinese, Tagalog, Spanish, Russian, and Vietnamese. 



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