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Why affordable housing +
youth art?

Mission Housing + YAX

Mission Housing Executive Director, Sam Moss, + Youth Art Exchange Executive Director, Raffaella Falchi Macias, onsite at Balboa Upper Yard, anticipated YAX location to open in late 2023.

YAX and Mission Housing Development Corporation are partnering in a strategic & creative way. By YAX being on the ground level of affordable housing sites in the Mission (1950 Mission) and Excelsior (at the Balboa Upper Yard), more youth will have easier, closer, and deeper access to our programs.

The majority of our youth live and school in the Excelsior and Mission districts. We have presented programs, exhibits, and public installations in community spaces, high schools, and pop up locations throughout these neighborhoods since 2000.

The impact of this partnership

YAX has outgrown its current 2000 square foot Excelsior location, [x]space. Fortunately, YAX had an opportunity to sign 10-year lease agreement for two, brand-new, ground floor sites at 100% affordable housing properties at 1950 Mission and Balboa Upper Yard. In 2022, YAX has been planning and fundraising for the tenant improvements at 1950 Mission, expected to be completed in Spring 2023, as well as associated increase in staff, occupancy costs, and programmatic capacity needs.


These spaces will significantly increase our ability to offer youth places to learn, gather, exhibit - and thrive. Not only will these new spaces better serve existing YAX youth, but they will also enable more youth to participate as young artists. By being in affordable housing units in areas that are rapidly gentrifying and changing, we will provide safe, relevant places for residents to send their children, serving them where they are.


YAX selected the 1950 Mission and Balboa Upper Yard sites because they 1) offer prime locations in the neighborhoods in which we’ve operated [mostly in borrowed or shared spaces] for nearly two decades, 2) reduce occupancy costs from our rental expenses for [x]space, 3) enable us to reach more low income youth of color, their families, and their neighbors at 100% affordable housing buildings, and 4) provide new earned income from space rentals and fee-for-service activities.

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