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Low-income seniors in SF to move after building sale

University Mound Ladies Home in San Francisco. (KGO)
Bay City News
A longtime assisted living elderly care center in San Francisco made an agreement Wednesday to sell the facility to a private elementary school, with proceeds of the sale of the historic building to create an endowment to provide the remaining low-income residents support as they move to new facilities.

University Mound Ladies Home, a licensed state residential care facility located at 350 University St. in the city's Portola District, has served elderly residents since 1884 and has 30 remaining residents.

At the beginning of May, the University Mound board of trustees issued eviction notices to residents, family members and other representatives.

The board told residents that the building had to close because of debt issues, along with revenue and spending problems at the historic facility.

The residents were told the closing date was July 10, leading to protests and a political fight that pulled in San Francisco Supervisor David Campos to keep the facility open or find an alternate plan to keep the center for low-income seniors.

Since then, an agreement was made with the San Francisco independent elementary school Alta Vista School, which will allow the center to establish an endowment that will go to the residents and make sure they receive financial assistance while transitioning to other facilities.

Some of the money will also go toward severance pay for employees.

As part of the deal, the school has also agreed to continue contributing to the endowment.

The assisted-living facility serves both men and women, but initially was created for low-income elderly women when it was first established through an endowment from philanthropist James Lick in the late 1800s. The endowment was exhausted in 2008, but until now the facility had managed to garner community and political support to stay afloat.

Since the sale was announced, the closing date has been extended to July 31.

The building will no longer directly serve elderly residents, but instead will become part of the growing elementary school that plans to include a middle school in the coming years.

The school, which was founded in 2010, moved to 450 Somerset St. in the Portola District in 2012 and will use the nearby University Mound facility to expand its campus.

School leaders plan to upgrade the building and bring it up to seismic safety requirements.
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