SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 25, 2023) – Freedom West Homes Corporation ("Freedom West”), a nonprofit limited equity housing co-operative in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, MacFarlane Partners, an institutional real estate investment management and development firm founded in 1987 by Victor MacFarlane, and CommonSpirit Health, one of the largest non-profit health systems in the U.S., operating in 24 states across the country, announced today the close of a $5 million impact investment from the CommonSpirit Community Investment Program. CommonSpirit now joins a growing number of funding partners who are advancing the mission to preserve and rebuild Freedom West for the next generation.
"CommonSpirit Health is committed to our mission of improving the health of the communities we serve, while also recognizing the varied factors that contribute to health disparities and inequities," said Rosalyn Carpenter, System Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact Officer of CommonSpirit Health. "By providing support to Freedom West 2.0, our hope is for families to spend less time worrying about their ability to pay rent and more time pursuing things that contribute to their ability to achieve their best health."
To-date, more than $27M in operational stabilization and pre-development funding has been invested in advancing the vision and mission of revitalizing and reimagining Freedom West Homes for approximately 1,000 low-to-moderate-income shareholder residents and the surrounding community. "Freedom West 2.0 in the historic Fillmore District of San Francisco will restore adequate, safe and affordable housing that is foundational for healthy family growth and for thriving communities," said Jahmal Miller, Chief Administrative Officer, Dignity Health’s Mercy Medical Group.
“We are excited that now, with the support of partners such as CommonSpirit, we have the opportunity to prepare for our next 100 years with even more hope for making the vision of our founders a reality,” said Mattie Scott, president and 48-year resident of Freedom West Homes Corp. “It’s a long history – but summarized so perfectly in the mini-documentary film, Reimagining of Freedom West, narrated by award-winning actor Danny Glover, a long-time heroic activist for our Fillmore Community,”
Freedom West was originally founded by Bethel AME Church in 1973 in the wake of government-sponsored Urban Renewal which displaced more than 20,000 residents and closed over 800 businesses -- most of which were never able to return. Freedom West was created to provide safe, affordable housing for low-income families of color using a co-op ownership model designed to enable housing stability and a pathway for underserved populations to build multi-generational wealth in the second-most expensive city to live in the United States.
“As a former resident from age 7 to 16, and whose family benefited greatly from the housing stability afforded to us by the Freedom West co-op ownership, I’m honored to have a lead role in its revitalization,” said Landon Taylor, CEO, MacFarlane Partners Investment Management Group. “We’re very grateful for partners like CommonSpirit, who have stepped up to join us in this critical work that has the potential to become a model for the country.”
Additional funding partners to date include MacFarlane Partners, Avanath Capital Management, City and County of San Francisco, JP Morgan Chase, Bethel AME Church, Legacy First Partners, Low Income Investment Fund, and Menorah Park via San Francisco Foundation’s donor advised fund.
About Freedom West
Freedom West Homes Corporation is a nonprofit housing cooperative comprised of 382 housing units located in the Fillmore District of San Francisco. In the late 1960s, in a period of civil turmoil, Rev. J. Austell Hall had a vision to preserve a portion of this neighborhood that was being threatened by the City’s urban renewal. From this vision, he established Freedom West with the objective of creating a safe, affordable community, protecting cultural diversity, and providing a source of social and economic empowerment through co-operative ownership. For additional information visit Freedom West Homes.
About MacFarlane Partners
MacFarlane Partners is a real estate investment management and development firm that acquires, develops and manages properties on behalf of some of the world’s largest pension plans and institutions. Founded in 1987, the firm pioneered the urban investment concept among institutional real estate investment managers in the 1990s and today is a leading investor and developer of properties that promote smart growth, urban revitalization and sustainability in urban and high-density suburban areas nationwide. It is headquartered in San Francisco and operates regional offices in Los Angeles and Seattle. For additional information, visit Macfarlane Partners.
About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. With its national office in Chicago and a team of over 175,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit operates 142 hospitals and more than 2,200 care sites across 24 states. In FY 2023, CommonSpirit had revenues of $34.6 billion and provided $5 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs. Learn more at www.commonspirit.org.