Jan 30, 2023 2 min read

How the Neighborhood’s New Housing Development Got Its Name

Building rendering
An rendering of Kapuso at the Upper Yard. | Courtesy image

The nonprofit developer sought a name that reflected the community values of District 11 for the new 131-unit building.

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The neighborhood’s newest housing development is all about heart.

The 131-unit building beside Balboa Park Station on the Muni streetcar yard known as the “Upper Yard” is now called Kapuso at the Upper Yard.

“Kapuso” is the Tagalog word for the concept of many hearts coming together.

Mission Housing Development Corporation, the project’s nonprofit developer, chose the name to reflect the community’s values, according to its senior communications manager Julio Lara.

“This land is really the community’s,” Lara said. “For us at Mission Housing, we really try to get as much input from the community as possible.”

Lara said the name was also informed by a report created in 2012 by Communities United for Health & Justice, a coalition of five nonprofit organizations that advocated for the city land to be used for affordable housing.

The Filipino Community Center, PODER, Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, Chinese for Affirmative Action and Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center produced Home Is Where The Heart to showcase community needs for more affordable housing and designates the Upper Yard as the heart of District 11.

The report and community advocates rallied for the city to turn over the property for housing development. Mayor Ed Lee supported the vision and directed the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to release the surplus land.

“To me, it’s a really beautiful imagery where we talk about the different ethnicities and working classes that make up District 11, coming together under this one idea of affordable housing at the Upper Yard,” Lara said.

Mission Housing has a promotional video that uses the idea of District 11’s four major neighborhoods as the four chambers of a heart and their mission to utilize the space for resident needs.

The project broke ground in November 2021. It is expected to be completed in Summer 2023. Youth Art Exchange recently announced it will operate an arts hub on site.

“In just a couple months we’ll be handing over the keys and changing lives, and that is a product of the community coming together as one to fight for this project,” Lara said.

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