Settlement Reached To Preserve Western Addition Affordable Housing


February 19, 2016

Contact: Jason Overman (415) 364-0000

San Francisco, CA – 104 Western Addition homes will be preserved as the result of a settlement agreement in a lawsuit filed last year by the Third Baptist Church, San Francisco’s longest-standing African American church.

“As a result of this settlement, affordable housing in San Francisco will be preserved,” said Public Law Group® Founding Partner and former San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne, who represented the plaintiffs. “The Church originally created this housing for families in need, and this settlement succeeded in preventing the sale of a building that would have put people at risk.”

The Church filed a temporary restraining order in July against the property manager – the Third Baptist Gardens – to enjoin the potential sale of the Frederick Douglas Haynes Gardens, where Section 8 tenants rent nearly 80% of the building’s units.

Board of Supervisors President London Breed, who represents the district where the property is located, praised the settlement.

“Protecting and preserving affordable housing in San Francisco is a high priority for me,” Breed said. “I’m happy to say that it’s a victory for the residents, advocates, and the City and County of San Francisco that F.D. Haynes will stay affordable – and will stay out of the hands of anyone that could jeopardize the residents’ homes.”
Recognizing the need for long-term affordable housing, the Third Baptist Church purchased the property in the 1960s and created an entity called Third Baptist Gardens to manage it. July’s lawsuit claimed that members of the management group’s board of directors were considering the possibility of selling the property to a market-rate housing developer.

As a result of the settlement, the board of directors for Third Baptist Gardens has resigned and been replaced by 11 nominees offered by the Church, including Rev. Amos Brown. The new board will be chaired by Anthony Wagner, a deacon at the Church who played a key role in revitalizing Laguna Honda Hospital.


Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai LLP (Public Law Group®) was founded in 2004 to serve both large and small public agencies, nonprofits and community-based organizations, as well as private clients throughout California. With collective experience in multiple areas of public agency law, its attorneys are skilled and effective advocates – and bring a solution-oriented approach to a wide-range of client concerns, including labor and employment matters, workplace investigations, ADA facilities compliance, CEQA and land use, operational consulting, ethics, constitutional and civil rights law, and election law. Public Law Group’s attorneys have the experience to serve as general counsel or to advise on specific legal issues, depending on the client’s needs. The firm is built on the successful outside-the-box approach developed by its chair, former San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne.