SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco is moving ahead with plans to use modular units to speed up the production and lower the cost of housing homeless residents, city officials announced Wednesday.

Mayor Ed Lee will issue a request for proposals this week to build up to 250 apartments for homeless households on a South of Market site the city is acquiring from the federal government for $1.

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The proposal for the lot at 1064-1069 Mission St. will specify the use of modular housing because the units can be delivered quickly and inexpensively, officials said. The city’s agreement with the federal government requires that housing be developed on the site within three years.

In addition, the large, flat property is well suited to modular installation, officials said.

“This lot offers a unique opportunity to use modular homes as part of our mission to address homelessness,” Lee said in a statement. “When it comes to solving the major issues of our day, our city must be creative and use every tool we have available. This project is a reflection of that
innovative approach.”

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The use of modular housing has typically been opposed by the city’s trade unions, but the mayor’s office was able to win labor support for this project.

“We’re excited to be testing modular construction’s promise of building new apartments as quickly as possible so that we can bring 250 people in off the streets as quickly as possible,” said Kate Hartley, acting director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

The city is also considering two other modular projects, 131 units on Treasure Island to house formerly homeless veterans and 120 units in Mission Bay.

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