Bay Area


In the Bay Area tenants are organizing in public housing in Oakland and San Francisco. In recent decades, almost all the public housing has been privatized in both cities via HOPE VI and Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD).

In San Francisco, there is an ongoing citywide privatization scheme that’s similar to RAD (and Blueprint for Change in New York) called HOPE SF. The city government, banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, corporations like Google, Kaiser Permanente, and foundations in the city are working together to achieve the HOPE SF scheme. HOPE SF’s plan is to eliminate the last public housing in San Francisco (Sunnydale, Potrero, Double Rock/Alice Griffith, Hunters View) which are in working class neighborhoods in San Francisco, by destroying them and building mixed income developments owned and managed by different private developers like Mercy Housing, the John Stewart Company, and BRIDGE Housing.

There are only two remaining public housing developments that are still under the San Francisco Housing Authority: Sunnydale and Potrero. At both locations, a number of buildings have been demolished in the last few years, displacing residents.

At Sunnydale, all 775 townhouses are slated to be replaced with a mixed-income, mixed use development, to force residents out of their townhouses and into multi-story buildings that are being built quickly and with cheap materials. Residents at Sunnydale have been organizing to resist the privatization and destruction of their homes, to not be bullied into signing leases with the private management company Mercy Housing, and to speak up about the truth that these private developers are just going to make the situation worse for residents and leave them more vulnerable. We’ve seen this happen in developments that have been privatized in the Bay Area and across the country.

The two developers at Sunnydale, Mercy Housing and Related California, are working together with the San Francisco Housing Authority to manipulate residents into thinking this privatization is a good thing, and intimidate residents who organize to oppose the demolition and privatization of their homes by threatening that they won’t even get a spot in the new buildings. 

The San Francisco Housing Authority and Mercy Housing sent the United Front Against Displacement a letter saying they were aware of our organizing and tried to smear our efforts by saying we were harassing residents. SFHA is scared that residents are actually talking to each other about what’s actually going on and organizing against them and the private developers, so they’re lying and trying to discourage people from doing so. But it hasn’t worked. Over 100 residents signed a petition opposing the privatization and residents have organized multiple protests and meetings with residents at Potrero Hill and privatized developments.

In Oakland, tenants have been organizing at Cypress Village in West Oakland and Lockwood Gardens in East Oakland, the two remaining public housing developments in the city. Cypress and Lockwood are not currently facing privatization but residents have been organizing to form independent tenant unions to fight for residents interests, and to be prepared when the Oakland Housing Authority does try to privatize them. There is a need to form independent tenant unions because like at many public and privatized developments, the tenant association there does not represent residents and is tightly controlled by the Oakland Housing Authority.

Residents at Cypress have been organizing since the fall and have a petition with nearly 100 signatures to stop OHA’s favoritism, to demand proper maintenance and an end to intentional neglect, to halt harassment of residents with baseless 3-day notices to quit, and to respond promptly to urgent relocation requests. Since the petition was delivered, people have seen a noticeable increase in basic groundskeeping, services, and security measures. Though there is still a long way to go, this demonstrates the power of speaking out, not only directly to those in power, but also to other neighbors and local press.

San Francisco

In San Francisco, residents of Sunnydale and Potrero Hill, the last two remaining public housing developments in the city, are organizing against the city’s HOPE SF redevelopment plan and developers Mercy Housing, Related California, and BRIDGE Housing, and against the longterm intentional neglect by the San Francisco Housing Authority.

This documentary was made by the UFAD Bay Area chapter, a grassroots organization made up of public housing and working-class tenants at large – united in the fight against the forces of gentrification. The documentary covers a brief overview of the history of public housing and the federal plan to privatize it all! These interviews were conducted while we were actively protesting, working on petitions, and holding community meetings.

Este documental fue realizado por el capítulo del Bay Area de UFAD, integrado por inquilinos de vivienda pública y la clase trabajadora en general, unidos en la lucha contra las fuerzas de la gentrificación. ¡El documental cubre una breve descripción de la historia de la vivienda pública y el plan federal para privatizarlo todo! Estas entrevistas se realizaron mientras protestábamos activamente, trabajábamos en peticiones y celebrábamos reuniones comunitarias.

Sunnydale and Potrero Residents’ Petition (English and Spanish)Download

Pamphlet: The Truth About the HOPE SF Scheme to Privatize San Francisco’s Last Public Housing at Sunnydale and Potrero Hill (English)Download

Pamphlet: The Truth About the HOPE SF Scheme to Privatize San Francisco’s Last Public Housing at Sunnydale and Potrero Hill (Spanish)Download

March 19: SFHA, FacesSF, and Mercy Housing’s notice to UFAD to cease organizing and Sunnydale tenants’ response (Download)


Videos from October 18th San Francisco City Hall: Sunnydale and Potrero Hill residents protest HOPE SF redevelopment and privatization

Sunnydale Public Housing Tenants hold protest against HOPE SF redevelopment, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Mayor London Breed: October 15th, 2021

Photos and videos: Update on the struggle at Sunnydale: Residents Protest HOPE SF Privatization Outside SFHA Office on September 18th, 2021  

Sunnydale residents and Tenant Association oppose the HOPE SF redevelopment and privatization of Sunnydale, and are ignored by politicians, SFHA, and developers

Public Housing Tenants Rally Against Nationwide Privatization of Public Housing and HOPE SF Scheme in San Francisco // Inquilinos de viviendas públicas protestan la privatización a nivel nacional del esquema de viviendas públicas y HOPE SF en San Francisco

June 12th: National Protest at San Francisco City Hall Against Privatization of Public Housing and Neglect by SFHA and OHA

San Francisco Housing Authority Management Scams Undocumented Public Housing Residents at Potrero Hill, Charging 60% of Income

May 22 in Oakland: Come Together, Speak Out, Fight Back! Defending public housing in the Bay Area

April 10th: Sunnydale Residents Protest HOPE SF’s Privatization of Sunnydale

February 13th: Sunnydale Residents Protesting SF Housing Authority in Opposition to the HOPE SF Plan


Residents of Cypress Village in West Oakland and Lockwood Gardens in East Oakland, have organized against the Oakland Housing Authority’s intentional neglect. Cypress and Lockwood are not under imminent threat of privatization, so there is both an opportunity and a need to organize now and push back against intentional neglect and mistreatment by the Oakland Housing Authority.

Cypress Village PetitionPDF

Public Housing Tenants, Supporters, Protest Oakland Housing Authority Office, Zack Haber, February 18

Public Housing Tenants, Supporters, Petition Oakland Housing Authority, Zack Haber, January 27

RESIST the City of Oakland’s Encampment Management Policy!

View the UFAD Statement on Oakland’s Encampment Management Policy plan to further criminalize being homeless in the Town

Previous Publications:

Wood Street Community Newsletters (2020)

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