February 9, 2021
On Saturday, February 13th at 12pm at 1815 Egbert Avenue, in front of the San Francisco Housing Authority headquarters, residents of the Sunnydale housing projects will be protesting to oppose the new development happening at Sunnydale. The SFHA, Mercy Housing, and Related California have been pushing through with their plans to redevelop all of Sunnydale.
Many residents know that these plans will lead to displacement and other serious problems going unaddressed in the process, creating a much worse situation. Residents of one block of Sunnydale recently received 90-day notices from SFHA stating that if they don’t leave their homes in April, they will be evicted. SFHA, Mercy, and Related California have claimed to have gotten resident input during this process, but residents believe these meetings have been a formality and that they haven’t been heard at all. In fact, residents who are being asked to move into the new buildings are being bullied into doing so and SFHA isn’t being upfront about the changes that will come with the move.
Housing Authorities across the country purposefully let housing projects like Sunnydale fall into disrepair and seriously threaten residents’ wellbeing in order to justify redeveloping – and thus eliminating – public housing. This type of neglect from the state is not unique to San Francisco, as we are simultaneously protesting with residents of the Peralta Village housing project in West Oakland, where residents have serious issues with their living conditions that the Oakland Housing Authority refuses to address. Although the HOPE SF plan is presented as a way to replace public housing units, the reality is that it is the privatization of public housing. We have seen this type of privatization happen on a massive scale over the past decade with programs like the HOPE VI and the RAD program, which have had disastrous results. Despite the assurances that this plan is different, this development will lead to residents being displaced at some point in the near future due to this shift of public housing becoming private housing.
Sunnydale residents are hosting this protest to expose the SFHA for their actions. We are standing in solidarity with residents in West Oakland and in public housing and privatized developments everywhere in the U.S. Residents will be delivering a petition with a list of demands to the San Francisco Housing Authority at this Saturday’s protest.
The United Front Against Displacement is an anti-gentrification organization that resists gentrification and pushes back against attempts to criminalize and displace people.