Sunnydale residents, and Sunnydale Tenant Association president Shelly Leonard opposes the HOPE SF redevelopment and privatization of Sunnydale. For years Shelly has voiced residents’ concerns and opposition to the HOPE SF plan to replace Sunnydale public housing with high rises built by developers Mercy Housing and Related California as part of a ‘mixed income development’ designed to push residents out. City politicians and HOPE SF have completely ignored residents in this plan.
In 2019, Shelly sent Helen Hale at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) a letter that HOPE SF consistently disregarded Sunnydale residents: “As someone whose unit was one of those demolished, I am dismayed, disheartened and frankly, feel disrespected by the lack of transparency throughout this entire process. Through the years, we in the Sunnydale community have been kept out of the planning process and in the dark. Hope SF’s website states that Hope SF’s ‘principles were established in collaboration with the community,’ from what I have seen Hope SF does not adhere to those principles. The way they have treated us over the years has been in direct opposition to those principles.” Helen Hale and MOHCD never responded.
In April, Shelly sent District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton a presentation she had created, called “Maintaining Health and Community in Sunnydale: Negative Implications of Multi-Unit High Rise Housing.” This presentation includes residents who speak out about not wanting to move into the Mercy high rise buildings and the history of broken promises and municipal neglect in similar efforts to privatize public housing. Supervisor Walton has not responded.
In February 2021, Sunnydale residents and the United Front Against Displacement delivered a petition to Mayor London Breed, Mercy Housing California, and SFHA signed by 100 residents at Sunnydale opposing the HOPE SF privatization. This too was ignored.
The only response from the San Francisco Housing Authority or the developers about residents’ concerns about the privatization was a letter from SFHA, Mercy Housing, and FacesSF sent to the United Front Against Displacement in March 2021 demanding that we stop organizing, smearing the organizing efforts, the petition, and protests as “harassment” of residents and “interference with a resident’s right to quiet enjoyment of their home.”
On June 26, SFHA, HOPE SF, and Mercy Housing held a meeting at Sunnydale about the private buildings that are supposed to open later this year built in place of the first Sunnydale buildings that were demolished. They blatantly lied, saying that no residents had ever voiced concerns about the redevelopment and privatization.
Politicians in San Francisco, and across the country, up to the White House and in both the Democratic and Republican parties, don’t care about people in public housing. Instead, they are working alongside the big banks and developers to eliminate all the public housing in the country by privatizing it.
This all shows that the HOPE SF privatization plan is not something for the benefit of residents. It’s a way for politicians, developers, and banks to completely disregard residents and push them out.