Then Mayor Gavin Newsom identified the Plaza Apartments as an ideal development for participation in the Direct Access to Housing Program (DAH); the DAH program was developed to combine permanent housing for chronically homeless people with on-site support services.

Community involvement and sustainability were two key drivers of the design process for the Plaza Apartments. The design team sought input from all interested community members in several ways; the team toured a variety of older and new SRO facilities in the vicinity and then held a series of community meetings and workshops with the residents of the former Plaza Hotel and with the South of Market Project Area Committee (SOMPAC). The design team returned to SOMPAC’s monthly meetings frequently to review progress of the development through construction.