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Project Mechanics Bank helped finance is finalist in Affordable Housing Finance Magazine's "Reader's Choice Awards"

Richmond, CA, September 1, 2009 -- 990 Polk Street, a senior housing project which Mechanics Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank jointly helped fund, has been selected as a 2009 Reader’s Choice finalist in the July/August 2009 issue of Affordable Housing Finance Magazine.

Selections were made by the magazine editors and industry leaders, and 35 affordable housing projects across the nation were honored in this, the fifth annual Reader’s Choice Awards. Readers were invited to choose the most deserving in each of the ten categories as well as one overall winner, with the winners to be announced in an upcoming issue.

990 Polk Street is a mixed-population approach to supportive housing for the homeless, according to James Buckley, president of Citizens Housing Corporation, which jointly developed the project with Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. With the City of San Francisco’s help, 50 of the 110 units were designated for people coming from the streets or shelters. The project provides a variety of services nearby which help these residents stay in housing long term.

In addition to the Federal Home Loan Bank /Mechanics Bank participation, other funders included the San Francisco Mayor’s Office Housing, San Francisco Department of Public Health, California Department of Mental Health; California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., Union Bank and Bank of America.

The new housing replaces a gritty parking lot and a laundry. First conceived as a development for all low income seniors, formerly homeless seniors were added to the mix as part of San Francisco’s push to move more chronically homeless people into permanent housing. The $35.1 million development uses a couple of new state and city funding programs including an operating subsidy to keep rents low, and funding under the state’s Mental Health Services Act housing program. Apartments are reserved for seniors earning no more than 45-50 percent of the area median income.

Bruce Lofgren, a VP-Corporate Banking Senior Relationship Manager with Mechanics Bank, said, “We’re proud to be recognized for our part in a project that incorporates attractive design, green building strategies, and helps improve our community in so many ways. It’s also been a wonderful opportunity to partner with the Federal Home Loan Bank.”

About Mechanics Bank:

For more than a century, Mechanics Bank has been committed to helping people build prosperous communities as a trusted financial partner, forging lasting relationships through teamwork, respect and integrity. The $2.7 billion independent bank, headquartered in Richmond, California, offers personal banking, business banking, trust, brokerage and wealth management services through 33 offices across Northern California. For more information, please visit

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