Grand Opening for Drs. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments in San Francisco

Community Housing Partnership & Mercy Housing California collaborate to create 120 units of supportive housing for formerly homeless adults

Drs. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments in San Francisco
Drs. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments in San Francisco
  • Drs. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments in San Francisco
    Drs. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments in San Francisco
    Drs. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments in San Francisco
    Drs. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Community Housing Partnership and Mercy Housing California are celebrating the grand opening of a new affordable housing community in San Francisco – Drs. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments – on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., 365 Fulton Street (at Gough Street), San Francisco, CA 94102.  The event will include a speakers program, ribbon cutting, open house, property tour and luncheon.  The housing community is named in memory and in honor of Drs. Julian and Raye Richardson, longtime San Francisco residents, business leaders and political activists. 

Developed in collaboration with Mercy Housing California, the Richardson Apartments are owned and managed by Community Housing Partnership.  A permanent supportive housing community for formerly homeless adults, this new construction project consists of 120 studio apartments with full bathrooms and kitchenettes totaling 300 square feet each.  Ten percent of the units are wheelchair ready and fully accessible to people with disabilities, and ten percent more have roll-in showers.  All other units are adaptable and can be easily modified to meet any accessibility needs of tenants, allowing residents to age in place.  The four apartment floors are designed with brightly painted light coves carved into the ceiling at each unit door.  The efficiently designed apartments come with durable custom furniture and basic kitchen equipment. 

Designed by local firm, David Baker + Partners, Architects, the five-story U-shaped building includes a welcoming lobby, a large courtyard garden, landscaped roof deck, laundry facilities, resident lounge, community room with kitchen and dining areas, offices for property management, a medical clinic, psychological counseling services and voluntary on-site support services.  All common areas are fully accessible to people with disabilities. 

The building's three retail spaces include a social enterprise bakery and cafe that will provide job training and employment opportunities for building residents.  Numerous sustainable design features have been incorporated, including energy efficient lighting and appliances, on-site storm water retention, recycled content flooring materials and solar panels. 

“The solution to homelessness is a home,” said David Schnur, director of housing development for Community Housing Partnership.  “This is not transitional housing – it is permanent.  As long as someone pays their rent and follows our basic house rules, they can stay here for life.” 

Durability was important in the design of the Richardson Apartments.  Behind its gracious urban façade, the building houses a community that can be rough on a building.  Many residents have physical or psychological disabilities, while others have been on the street so long that they have forgotten how to care for a permanent home. 

“As the owners of our buildings, we prefer to upgrade materials to maximize life-cycle and minimize maintenance costs,” said Schnur.  “A well-designed and maintained building also adds dignity to the lives of our residents.” 

Security is necessary, but is not overbearing.  Discreetly placed cameras scan the exterior of the building.  No resident has a key to the front door, but rather they are buzzed into a secure lobby by the front desk, which is staffed 24 hours a day by trained personnel. 

A landscaped central courtyard – designed by renowned Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture – features custom-designed tables and seating, and allows residents to gather outside, away from the street.  Foldable glass walls in the ground-floor multipurpose room open onto the courtyard.  On the other side, the tenant services suite, staffed by UCSF Citywide Case Management, takes advantage of the daylight but still maintains privacy with a patterned glass wall.  Anchoring one end of the courtyard is an exterior, open-air staircase which can foster chance encounters between residents, according to design principal, David Baker. 

The Richardson sits just two blocks from San Francisco City Hall.  The development team undertook extensive outreach work with various community groups to assuage concerns, and ultimately the project received strong support from the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association and the Western Addition Citizens Advisory Committee.  The city was a huge advocate for the project from the beginning as the site was granted to the developers by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, and the city waived parking-space requirements in the building’s design. 

A much anticipated benefit of the Richardson Apartments is that the housing community is expected to save the city money.  Using records for the 120 Richardson residents, Dr. Joshua Bamberger, medical director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, calculated that they used $2.4 million in city and other services last year.  With the on-site clinic alone, it is expected that these costs will be drastically reduced and Dr. Bamberger looks forward to doing the math again next year to prove the value of housing the homeless. 


Dr. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments Financial Partners: 

  • San Francisco Redevelopment Agency
  • Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc.
  • California Department of Housing & Community Development
  • Citibank, N.A.
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • California Tax Credit Allocation Committee
  • California Housing Finance Agency
  • Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco

Dr. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments Development Team: 

  • Architect:  David Baker + Partners, Architects
  • General Contractor:  Cahill Contractors
  • Property Management:  Community Housing Partnership
  • Tenant Services:  UCSF Citywide Case Management


Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., 365 Fulton Street (at Gough Street), San Francisco, CA 94102, TEL (415) 929-2470 for information and to RSVP for the event; speakers program begins approximately 11:45 a.m., ribbon cutting will take place approximately 12:15 p.m., buffet luncheon and property tours 12:15 – 1:00 p.m.

Order of Invited Program Speakers: 

  • Gail Gilman, Executive Director, Community Housing Partnership
  • Olson Lee, Director, Mayor’s Office of Housing
  • Jane Kim, District 6, Board of Supervisors, City and County of San Francisco
  • Doug Shoemaker, President, Mercy Housing California
  • Tiffany Bohee, Executive Director, San Francisco Redevelopment Agency
  • Barbara Garcia, Director, Department of Public Health
  • Cathy E. Creswell, Acting Director, California Department of Housing and Community Development
  • William J. Pavao, Executive Director, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee
  • Kevin Kilbane, Managing Director – West Coast Acquisitions, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc.
  • Merle D. Malakoff, Vice President, Citi Community Capital
  • Yolanda Guillory, Resident, Richardson Apartments


  • City of San Francisco and State of California elected officials, agency representatives and special guests;
  • Group photo of the event speakers officially cutting the ribbon for the grand opening ceremony;
  • Community spaces – lobby, central courtyard, resident lounge – open for tours. 


About Drs. Julian & Raye Richardson

Dr. Julian Richardson was born on April 4, 1916 in Birmingham, Alabama as the son of a coal miner.  Dr. Raye Richardson was born in Arkansas in 1920 and was raised in Waukegan, Illinois.  An avid reader and honor student, she was accepted to The Tuskegee Institute at the young age of 16, where she met Julian Richardson, who would later become her husband and life partner in political activism.  At Tuskegee Institute, a historically black university in Alabama, the Richardsons studied under George Washington Carver and with Invisible Man author Ralph Ellison. 

Settling into San Francisco in 1942, Dr. Julian Richardson worked as the first black typesetter at the San Francisco Chronicle, but soon after the Richardsons started a printing and publishing business Success Printing in 1946 in the Fillmore District.  A serious reader and book collector, Julian went into the book-selling business with Raye, and together they opened Marcus Books in 1960, the oldest black bookstore in the country.  Far more than a bookstore, Marcus Books has served as a community institution and a center of critical discussion on black diasporic history, culture, and politics.  Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, Bill Cosby, Malcolm X, Cornel West, Patti LaBelle, Julianne Malveaux, B.B. King, Randall Robinson, Huey P.Newton, and Fannie Lou Hamer are among the hundreds of esteemed authors, activists, and celebrities to visit Marcus Books over the years. 

Dr. Raye Richardson served as the first interim chair of Black Studies at San Francisco State University, and retired as the first Professor Emerita of the School of Ethnic Studies.  Raye’s political activism, sharp intellect, and commitment to teaching has made her a sought-after public speaker.  Dr. Julian Richardson passed away on August 21, 2000 at the age of 84, leaving behind a rich legacy as an avid learner and mentor to many. 

About Community Housing Partnership

Community Housing Partnership (CHP) is the long-term owner of Richardson Apartments and provides property management services.  Since 1990, CHP has pioneered effective solutions to homelessness.  Through high quality housing, support services, workforce development, civic engagement, and youth and family programs, 98 percent of CHP’s residents retain their housing each year, building the foundation for their continued success.  CHP currently operates over 900 residential units at 11 properties in San Francisco, with two more sites in development.  For more information, please visit

About Mercy Housing

Mercy Housing California (MHC) is the largest regional division of Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), a national not-for-profit affordable housing organization headquartered in Denver.  MHI has a presence in 43 states, serves more than 137,800 people on any given day and has participated in the development, financing or operating of more than 40,000 homes.  Mercy Housing serves families, seniors and people with special needs – formerly homeless, people with HIV/AIDS and the developmentally disabled. 

Mercy Housing California has developed 128 rental properties across 36 counties serving more than 22,000 low- and very-low income residents.  Since 1988, MHC has developed 10,942 affordable homes in California – 7,940 rental units and 3,002 in homeownership.  For more information, please visit

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