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

Videos on Twitter

On Friday, October 15th, residents of the Sunnydale public housing development in San Francisco held a protest at a new Mercy Housing development built on the site of demolished Sunnydale units. San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge held a press conference and tour of the latest Mercy Housing development built as a part of the HOPE SF redevelopment plan. This press event and tour was organized by the politicians and San Francisco Housing Authority in secret, without informing residents. Once the word spread that politicians had come to Sunnydale to do a photo op, tenants organized a protest. When residents tried to enter where the politicians were touring the Mercy Housing building, the San Francisco Police Department barred them from entering. SFPD told tenants that they could not enter because the building was a “construction site” and that it was private property. The politicians and reporters had entered just moments before, but residents voicing concerns about what was happening to their own homes were deemed irrelevant.

While police were keeping residents out of the press event, Pelosi said, “And just viewing this project at Sunnydale, it’s about respect. Respect for the tenants – they are the VIPs. We’re here to speak, but they are the VIPs, whose needs we’re here to meet and to meet in a way that is respectful […] I say this because it is a model for the country. It is a model for the country to see how San Francisco deals with this […] to see that they are treated with respect by housing that meets their needs in a way that they had some say in putting together and everything that goes with it.”

In Sunnydale public housing, tenants have leases with the San Francisco Housing Authority, have front and back doors, gardens, washers and dryers in each unit, and are not charged for utilities. Mercy Housing developed the “Casala” building at Sunnydale and Hahn which opened in 2019. In the conversion from public to private leases, tenants have fewer legal protections than in public housing, and the stability of public housing is replaced with Project Based Section 8 Vouchers that residents lose if they move, meaning that they lose their subsidy. Tenants who moved to Mercy’s Casala building from Sunnydale public housing units have been charged upwards of $140 for utilities, have to share washers and dryers, and Mercy Housing imposes restrictive rules about how people can live and who can visit.

Tenants say the Casala building was cheaply constructed, that one resident’s ceiling started leaking when her upstairs neighbor took a shower, and that maintenance is neglected. Mixed immigration status families have been told they will not qualify for any subsidy in the Mercy Housing buildings, meaning they will pay thousands of dollars for rent. The new Mercy Housing building that Pelosi, Fudge, and Breed toured will have 167 units, 3 times the size of Casala. The building is slated to open in November, and many residents have resisted as SFHA and Mercy Housing employees have pressured them in recent months to sign leases to move there.

The contradiction between what the politicians say and what the people say couldn’t be clearer. While Pelosi touts HOPE SF as a model for the country, the residents she called “VIPs” were being barred from entering by the police just down the block. The truth is that the politicians and developers are afraid of people knowing what’s actually going on and organizing to stop it. When Pelosi says the HOPE SF redevelopment is the model for the country, what she means is it’s the model of how to destroy public housing and displace residents, all to line the pockets of the housing developers. But residents refused to let the politicians use the redevelopment at Sunnydale to further the national plan by HUD, Congress, the big banks and the developers of privatizing public housing.

Sunnydale resident Raymunda said at the protest: “We are speaking out and we cannot run because we have children. We cannot walk the streets in fear and we will not sleep on the streets. Another thing, these people in the office won’t pick up the trash but want our rent. They treat us bad because we have less but we are good people, dignified people and we deserve to be treated well by these managers. We will not leave, we will fight. We will not be thrown onto the street with our children we will defend our rights as people. We will not leave. We will not surrender.”

Andres said: “There’s real crime in the city going on. Not this. We’re all residents, we live here. Who’s asking the questions inside? They don’t want to hear from the real people. The millionaires in there are just conspiring and evict us, trying to eliminate Section 9 [public housing].”

Sunnydale and Potrero Hill are the two remaining public housing developments in the city after SFHA privatized all other public housing in recent decades, leading to people being displaced and pushed out of the city. HOPE SF, created by governor Gavin Newsom when he was the mayor of San Francisco, is a plan to demolish public housing and replace it with “mixed income developments” of luxury condos for the rich and cheap “replacement” units for current residents.

The total disregard for residents was also exemplified by employees of the San Francisco Housing Authority and HOPE SF. SFHA Executive Director Tonia Lediju, SFHA Director of Public Housing Kendra Crawford, and HOPE SF employee Elizabeth Chilton all ignored residents protesting when they walked out of the press conference. They went so far as to say that none of the people at the protest even lived at Sunnydale. In the past, SFHA, Mayor Breed, and Mercy Housing ignored a petition signed by 100 Sunnydale residents sent in February, and the Mayor’s Office for Housing and Community Development ignored a letter from Sunnydale Tenant Association president Shelly Leonard in 2019.

Tenants at Sunnydale and Potrero Hill have continued to organize against the HOPE SF redevelopment, and to demand SFHA repair buildings after neglecting them for years. Tenants are holding another protest this Monday, October 18th at 4:30pm at San Francisco City Hall (press release).

Videos from the October 15th protest can be found on Twitter.

The United Front Against Displacement

510-815-9978 – wewontgo@riseup.net – theufad.org – @theUFAD

TWITTER THREAD:

Today Sunnydale residents protested the @HOPESFCOMMUNITY destruction of their homes to build luxury condos outside a new @mercyhousing building. @SpeakerPelosi, @SecFudge and @LondonBreed held a press conference that no residents were informed about. Police refused to let us in.

After police stopped residents from entering the press conference, Pola, who has lived at Sunnydale for 16 years, says residents have the right to protest and organize as low income residents who have lived there for years.

Raymunda, a resident of Sunnydale: “We are speaking out and we cannot run because we have children. We cannot walk the streets in fear and we will not sleep on the streets. These people in the office won’t pick up the trash but want our rent.”

Raymunda: “They treat us bad because we have less but we are good people, dignified people and we deserve to be treated well by these managers. We will not leave, we will fight. We will not be thrown onto the street with our children, we will defend our rights as people.”

There’s real crime happening in San Francisco but the police are keeping residents out and protecting the rich developers and politicians who conspire to evict residents and eliminate Section 9 public housing. #Sunnydale

After letting @SpeakerPelosi @SecFudge @LondonBreed @RepBarbaraLee enter the @mercyhousing building on the site of demolished public housing units at Sunnydale, police stopped residents from entering, saying it was a construction zone and private property.

Marching to another entrance to the @mercyhousing building where politicians, developers, and San Francisco Housing Authority employees were leaving after the press conference and police continued to refuse to let residents in

San Francisco Housing Authority Executive Director Tonia Lediju and Director of Public Housing Kendra Crawford refuse to look at Sunnydale residents as they protest. They walk away and Kendra lies and says they’re not residents

Elizabeth Chilton works with @HOPESFCOMMUNITY to push people out of their homes in public housing and into private developments. She ignored residents at the protest. Recently she told someone that if people refuse to leave their homes they’ll be violently removed by the sheriffs

Today, Sunnydale residents came together and exposed how the @HOPESFCOMMUNITY privatization and development serves the politicians and developers, not the residents. Today was a part of the struggle against #gentrification and displacement in San Francisco and across the country

Originally tweeted by the United Front Against Displacement (@TheUfad) on October 15, 2021.

Press Release: Sunnydale and Potrero Hill Tenants will Protest at San Francisco City Hall on Monday October 18th

For immediate release
Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Tenants of Sunnydale and Potrero Hill with the United Front Against Displacement
Phone: 510-815-9978
Email: wewontgo@riseup.net 

This Monday, October 18th at 4:30pm, tenants of Sunnydale and Potrero Hill public housing in San Francisco are holding a protest at San Francisco City Hall. Tenants are protesting the city government and San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA)’s plan to eliminate the remaining public housing in the city by transferring management to a private landlord, the Eugene Burger Management Corporation (EMBC), starting this December. At the same time, the city’s HOPE SF privatization scheme plans to continue destroying all the buildings and displacing residents to allow developers Mercy Housing, Related California, and BRIDGE Housing to build luxury condos on the land.

After decades of corruption and neglect of Sunnydale and Potrero Hill, forcing residents to live with black mold, pests, rodents, and open sewage, SFHA is evading all responsibility. SFHA sent hundreds of households at Sunnydale and Potrero Hill 90-day notices in September that their public housing leases would be terminated to allow the EBMC to take over in what is referred to in SFHA documents as “accelerated disposition”. Under a private landlord, residents will have fewer rights, be more likely to be evicted, and have to pay more. The stability of public housing will be replaced with a Project Based Section 8 Vouchers that residents cannot take with them if they move, meaning that they will lose their subsidy. SFHA’s story of EBMC taking over to improve conditions is a lie, because residents of other EBMC developments in San Francisco and other cities in California have attested to how EBMC neglects its properties and harasses tenants.  

The HOPE SF website claims that “resident voice and vision drives decisions,” but HOPE SF and Mayor London Breed have ignored residents’ objections. SFHA and the developers have recently threatened residents that they will be homeless if they do not comply with the privatization. This Monday’s protest is part of an ongoing movement at Sunnydale and Potrero Hill against the SFHA and city politicians making residents’ lives worse to let developers make a profit. Tenants have held protests, delivered a petition, and are demanding SFHA keep their leases and immediately do necessary repairs. 

The privatization of public housing is gentrification. All the other SFHA public housing developments in San Francisco have been privatized in recent decades, which has led to people being displaced, pushed out of the city entirely, and becoming homeless. This is happening across the country, and this protest is a part of a national movement with tenants organizing in New York City, Boston, Dallas, and Minneapolis. 

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

Residents of Sunnydale and supporters gathered on Saturday, September 18th in front of the San Francisco Housing Authority’s office at Sunnydale to protest the city’s HOPE SF redevelopment scheme backed by the big banks. HOPE SF threatens to eliminate public housing in San Francisco by demolishing the last two public housing developments, Sunnydale and Potrero Hill, over the next decade. This will allow big developers (Mercy Housing and Related California at Sunnydale, and BRIDGE Housing at Potrero Hill) to build luxury condos. Previous HOPE SF redevelopment phases at Sunnydale and Potrero Hill, as well at other developments Double Rock (Alice Griffith) and Hunters View, have displaced residents from their neighborhoods or the city entirely. Residents have fewer rights in the new Section 8 units than in public housing, and mixed immigration status families are forced to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more in rent.

After SFHA sent hundreds of residents notices to leave their homes by November 1st, to clear the way for demolition, residents and supporters organized the protest. Residents are forming a plan to defend their homes, fighting these 90-day notices. At the same time, SFHA wants to convert all the existing units at Sunnydale and Potrero Hill to Section 8 Project-Based Vouchers by September 2022, starting with hundreds of units by December 1st.

Residents of public and subsidized housing came together from Sunnydale, Bayview Hunters Point, and West Oakland, and residents organizing in Boston and New York City joined by phone. People made it clear that together they were going to fight to stop the developers and big banks from displacing any more working people.

Rita, a resident of Sunnydale of 50 years:

“What they are doing is not okay. They’re trying to trap us in these buildings. It ain’t nothing but a modern day slavery, like they did the Jews. They are trying to trap us in these apartments and control how we’re living, tell us when we can come and go, who we can have in our houses. They are doing it in my mom’s building over in Fillmore. You have to show ID to let anyone in your house. We can’t take nothing with us. They tell us how much clothing, how much furniture to put in the houses down there. So that’s not okay. We don’t want that. And it’s not just Sunnydale, it’s Potrero Hill, Hunters Point. We need to come out and fix this and do something about it. We can’t just sit around and wait until the last minute.”

Daniel from Sunnydale:

“We just don’t deserve this. Like Rita said, they just want to take everything from us. Some tenants are unaware of the hope that they actually have that we can make this change and stop it right where it’s at right now, before they throw up another building. We do have the power to stop that. If you don’t want to lose your place then you have an obligation to get out here and spread the word, and not just spread the word, but actually do something. I hope everyone can stay out here, stay consistent, stay on their necks, and never give up.”

Sue from Sunnydale: 

“I’ve lived here for 14 years. Everyone knows what’s going on. This is our area, this is our home, we need to fight back, we need to come together. If we give up, we don’t do anything, you don’t have any choice later. They’re going to have a thousand families coming in, and we won’t have a parking spot. We need to come together.”

Mario Medina, a resident of the Mary Ellen McCormack projects and from the United Front Against Displacement branch in Boston

Mario recently won a transfer to a properly sized unit after the Boston Housing Authority made him and his family of four live in a one bedroom for 8 years. Mario called into the protest: “The Boston Housing Authority didn’t want to do anything with our family, until we worked with others to put pressure on them…We must keep fighting. We have each other. We cannot allow housing to be privatized. Don’t lose hope. Keep fighting, because we can win victories in the struggle. Just because I’ve won, I won’t stop fighting. The movement will keep growing, keep going, we’re all across the country.”

Craig from the Tenant Advocacy Team called in from Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York: 

“You’re not alone Sunnydale, we’re with you. We can’t let these private developers come into Sunnydale and dictate how we’re going to live. We have to stand up in solidarity and unity and kick these developers out of our community.”

Residents posted signs on the doors of the SFHA office that read “Hell no, we wont go” and “Privatization is not for the people.” 

Oaklanders Are Speaking Out and Exposing OHA’s Lies

Last Saturday a group of activists and residents of Oakland public housing presented a petition and a series of letters written by tenants demanding repairs for neglected public housing units to the Oakland Housing Authority. 

The petition was posted just outside the OHA’s downtown office.

The UFAD had met with over a dozen households with serious rat and mold infestations in recent weeks and tenants are demand immediate relief and transfers to safer housing. Tenants have reported being ignored by OHA in some cases for years. This isnt the first time that public housing tenants have demanded that OHA take action. Earlier this year, over 90 residents at Cypress Village signed onto a petition demanding that the Housing Authority improve maintenance. The UFAD protested outside the West Oakland office. This forced OHA to respond to several overdue maintenance issues and relocated a resident who had severe mold in her apartment after years of OHA just painting over it. 

Janis Cannon, a Lockwood resident has had a rodent infestation for almost 5 years and so far OHA has ignored her request to be transferred to a habitable unit.

While the petition had some successes, it was important to keep fighting, especially since the increased maintenance did almost nothing to improve conditions inside the units. As one person said while delivering the petition said, “OHA acts like just because it’s low income housing that means you have to treat people like low income. Treat them worse.” 

The letter campaign was inspired in part by a similar campaign taken up by UFAD Boston which has the Boston Housing Authority scrambling to respond. Housing Authorities often push the idea that residents just need to call the maintenance line and wait their turn. Work orders often don’t get completed or are completed so inadequately just so the housing authority can check off a box without addressing any real issue. One online comment on the Boston Housing Authority’s press release simply stated, “pictures don’t lie”.

When we emailed OHA the first batch of letters, we sent it to the entire executive board and the property administrators. We received only one response: an automated out of office email dated from 2016. This just shows the level of disrespect and disregard OHA has for its residents and properties. 

This disregard is not an accident. One sign posted to the OHA office stated: “OHA intentionally neglects its properties”. As we wrote in issue 1 of People of the Bay, OHA does have a plan to eliminate public housing by running down the properties to justify privatization in the future. 

We will continue to keep fighting for public housing and struggling against those who want to force the poor and working class to live in awful conditions. As one resident at the event said, “We need you to join the fight. It takes all of us.”

Notes on the Struggle in Chinatown

source https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FATASmTUcAw2X0f?format=png&name=small

Recently, members of the UFAD joined several protests against MOCA (Museum of Chinese in America) organized by the Chinese Staff and Workers’ Association, Youth Against Displacement, the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side, and a few other groups. On September 26, several hundred protesters marched through Chinatown and assembled in front of the museum, urging visitors to join the ongoing boycott and picket.

The protest focused on efforts to co-opt struggles by highlighting so-called cultural leaders and related institutions that make room for displacement on an epic scale. In this case, displacement was heavily abetted by museum board co-chair and managing director of a large real estate consortium, Jonathan Chu, as well as Nancy Yao Maasbach, museum president and flunky of many corporate cabals including the Council of Foreign Relations, and Goldman Sachs.

At issue in particular is:

1) The museum’s decision to accept a “publicly-acceptable bribe,” a grant of millions in dollars in return for an agreement to endorse development in Chinatown, including a 29-story expansion to the Manhattan Detention Complex jail

2) Chu’s decision to close the Jing Fong Restaurant, the only unionized restaurant in Chinatown.

This mobilization deserves the careful attention and support from activists near and far. The blatant use of cultural representatives to sell-out the community is, for good reason, the square target of the protesters, some of whom called out the museum as the “Museum of Capitalist Asians.” The Democratic Party in particular has gone all-in on this strategy in recent years with its use of identity politics to push its real agenda, the furthering of the exploitative and racist agenda of the ruling elite. In the struggle against the privatization of public housing, in development after development, local representatives who will play ball with developers are promoted as “community leaders”, even if this means ignoring or suppressing regular elections and meetings. Banks promote NGOs to be the middlemen between their funding sources and the people, and the management authorities bring in the muscle to evict residents—in New York City this even includes the Legal Aid Society, which is on contract to represent the city’s plan to privatize developments under the RAD program.

When protesters target these community sell-outs, the system goes haywire. A petition “an appeal for healing” was drafted in defense of the Museum by the so-called progressive academics and cultural icons in the community urging protesters to stand down (similarly when UFAD protesters in San Francisco protested the demolition of public housing, local NGOs and city workers decried protesters as “causing trauma”). This week, the Daily News Editorial Board stated of protesters “They harass museum visitors and its staff. They beclown themselves and their cause.” The message of these academics, officials, and media representatives is the same—get in line and buy the corporate shit that our masters prepare for us—or get lost. The Museum is supposed to be a testament to a version of the American dream, telling how past Chinese-Americans suffered so we could enjoy “progress” today, but what progress does this amount to when Chinese-Americans and their neighbors are fired from their jobs and lose their housing and entire community. How chillingly fitting it is that a high-rise jail is built to support this “great cultural narrative.” As George Carlin stated, “That’s why they call it the American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

source https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FATAWijVgAchqrU?format=jpg&name=4096×4096

TEACH-IN: PRIVATIZATION AND DISPLACEMENT- HARLEM RIVER HOUSES, FRIDAY, OCT 1, 5pm

 For months, RAD developers have tricked people into signing a lease despite the fact that HUD has not approved the new company from taking over Harlem River yet. This, along with ongoing mismanagement of the buildings, are a serious violations of tenants’ basic housing rights. 

 Join us, learn the FACTS about RAD and Privatization. Refreshments will be served. Keeping Our Apartments Depends on What We Know And Keeping in the Know!

 Join us, learn the FACTS about RAD and Privatization. Refreshments will be served.Keeping Our Apartments Depends on What We Know And Keeping in the Know

 Friday, October 1st, 5pm, Colonel Young Triangle Park

Educational Event Against RAD and Blueprint takeovers 

Protest at Sunnydale in San Francisco, Saturday September 18th at 2pm

On Saturday September 18 at 2pm, resident organizers from Sunnydale public housing and the United Front Against Displacement will convene a rally outside the local San Francisco Housing Authority office at 1654 Sunnydale Ave to denounce recent attempts to push out residents from their homes. At the end of August, SFHA informed dozens of families that they had to leave their homes by November 1 of this year or face eviction. These housing units are slated for demolition to clear the land for developers Mercy Housing and Related California to continue building a “mixed income development” under a city privatization scheme called HOPE SF.

SFHA is now trying to rid itself of management of the property well before the end of the HOPE SF redevelopment through a process called “accelerated disposition.” This plan will transfer all leases of remaining townhouses in Sunnydale and Potrero Hill to the control of the Eugene Burger Management Corporation, a private property management company, by September 2022.

National Petition to HUD and Congress: Stop Privatizing Public Housing

To: HUD and Congress: Stop Privatizing Public Housing
From: Public housing tenants, activists, sympathetic organizations, and individuals

(Español abajo)

This is a letter decrying one of the crimes of the 21st century; the nationwide project by Congress, HUD, big banks, and developers to privatize public housing. For decades Congress has cut funding to public housing developments across the country. This is part of a long history of neglect of public housing, which has led to deteriorating and dangerous conditions for tenants. Mold, asbestos, lead paint, water damage, broken windows, rodent infestations, lack of heat, and other unlivable conditions are all a daily reality for tenants in public housing projects across the country. In addition to this lack of respect or concern for peoples’ health, tenants are regularly subjected to rude, derogatory, and discriminatory treatment for raising these concerns to managers and local housing authorities.

Now after all these years of letting the projects rot and forcing people to live in deplorable conditions, HUD is giving away all the projects to wealthy developers and the big banks. These predatory interests aim to make billions off of this transfer of wealth and land, all at the expense of the millions of people currently living in public housing. Instead of using funding for much needed repairs of public housing, HUD’s budget is now being used to subsidize these privatization projects, which almost always include the construction of new luxury units and the displacement of the vast majority of current project residents.

For example, under an earlier HUD privatization program known as HOPE VI, on average only 27.6% of households that were officially relocated were able to return after their buildings were taken over by private developers, according to HUD. However, HUD’s statistics do not take into account residents who were pushed out through eviction and other tactics before official ‘relocation” phases began, meaning the actual portion of residents permanently displaced by HOPE IV is likely larger. It is clear that current schemes are no different in their aims to displace public housing tenants and gentrify whole neighborhoods and communities out of existence.

As a result of funding cuts, there is now an over $70 billion backlog of repairs needed for public housing. This seems like a lot, but it is a small figure next to what the federal government spends on nuclear weapons, wasted wars around the world, and now regular bailouts for the big banks.

Therefore, we demand that:

1) HUD immediately halt all ongoing sales and privatizations of existing public housing projects

2) HUD reject all future applications from Public Housing Authorities to dispose of projects through Section 18 of the Housing Act, or by any other means.

3) Congress immediately pass an emergency spending bill to address the over $70 billion backlog of repairs in public housing now.

4) Congress adequately fund the public housing program from now on, so that no new backlogs of repairs occur.

Para: El Congreso de los Estados Unidos y el Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano (HUD)

Para: El Congreso de los Estados Unidos y el Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano (HUD)
De: inquilinos de viviendas públicas, activistas, organizaciones simpatizantes e individuos

Esta es una carta denunciando uno de los grandes crímenes del siglo XXI; el proyecto nacional del Congreso, HUD, los grandes bancos y las inmobiliarias para privatizar la vivienda pública. Durante décadas, el Congreso ha recortado los fondos para desarrollos de viviendas públicas en todo el país. Esto es parte de una larga historia de abandono de la vivienda pública, que ha provocado su deterioro y condiciones peligrosas para los inquilinos. El moho, el asbesto, la pintura con plomo, los daños causados ​​por goteras de agua, las ventanas rotas, las plagas de roedores, la falta de calefacción y otras condiciones no habitables son una realidad diaria para muchos inquilinos de los proyectos de vivienda pública en todo el país. Además de esta falta de respeto y de preocupación por la salud de las personas, los inquilinos son sometidos regularmente a un trato grosero, despectivo y discriminatorio por plantear estas preocupaciones a los administradores y las autoridades locales de vivienda.

Ahora, después de todos estos años de dejar que los proyectos se pudran y de obligar a la gente a vivir en condiciones deplorables, HUD está regalando todos los proyectos a desarrolladores adinerados y a los grandes bancos. Estos intereses depredadores apuntan a ganar miles de millones con esta transferencia de riqueza y tierra, todo a expensas de los millones de personas que actualmente viven en viviendas públicas. En lugar de utilizar fondos para reparaciones muy necesarias de viviendas públicas, el presupuesto de HUD se está utilizando ahora para subsidiar estos proyectos de privatización, que casi siempre incluyen la construcción de nuevas unidades de lujo y el desplazamiento de la gran mayoría de los residentes actuales del proyecto.

Por ejemplo, según el HUD, bajo el programa de privatización anterior conocido como HOPE VI, sólo el 27,6% de los hogares que fueron reubicados oficialmente pudieron regresar. Sin embargo, las estadísticas del HUD no toman en cuenta a los residentes que fueron expulsados mediante desalojo y otras tácticas antes de que comenzaran las fases oficiales de “reubicación”, lo que significa que la porción real de residentes desplazados permanentemente por HOPE IV es probablemente mayor. Está claro que los planes actuales no son diferentes en su objetivo de desplazar a los inquilinos de viviendas públicas y transformar sus comunidades en pare beneficio de los ricos.

Como resultado de los recortes en la financiación, ahora hay un retraso de más de 70 mil millones de dólares en las reparaciones necesarias para las viviendas públicas. Esto parece ser mucho, pero es una cifra pequeña al lado de lo que el gobierno gasta en bombas nucleares, guerras innecesarias por todo el mundo, y rescates a los grandes bancos.

Por estas razones, exigimos:

1) Que HUD detenga inmediatamente todas las ventas y privatizaciones en curso de proyectos de vivienda pública existentes

2) Que HUD rechace todas las solicitudes futuras de las Autoridades de Vivienda Pública para disponer de proyectos a través de la Sección 18 de la Ley de Vivienda, o por cualquier otro medio

3) Que el Congreso apruebe inmediatamente un proyecto de ley de gastos de emergencia para hacer frente a los más de 70 mil millones de dólares de retraso en la reparación de viviendas públicas.

4) Que el Congreso financie adecuadamente el programa de vivienda pública a partir de ahora, para que no se produzcan nuevos retrasos en las reparaciones.

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

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.

Activists from UFAD confront Congressman Adriano Espaillat about privatization of Harlem River and other developments

Today in NYC, activists from UFAD confronted Congressman Adriano Espaillat about the privatization of Harlem River and other developments under the RAD project, with signs reading “Espaillat Sold out the People, Espaillat Sold Off NYCHA”

Espaillat responded to demonstrators that he did not support RAD, and that he does not support it at Harlem River. He also said if the $80 billion infrastructure bill is passed, RAD money won’t be needed. 

We were glad the congressman (this time) went on the record opposing RAD, but we’re concerned that he said RAD wouldn’t be needed IF $80 billion in infrastructure is delivered through congress.Selling out the people and their rights as tenants in public housing should not have any price tag–especially one so high democrats don’t believe themselves such a bill will pass

Rep Espaillat and Senator Schumer have to act now to halt the privatization of Harlem River and other developments. Just claiming to oppose privatization while not taking action is the same thing as supporting the ongoing privatization and displacement of the people. 

In the past Espaillat has called for the use of RAD in Harlem stating in the congressional record  “I am very appreciative of the Chairman and Ranking Member for their inclusion of Rental Assistance Demonstration (“RAD”) language in the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus legislation. Espaillat’s congressional district has the second highest number of RAD conversions in NYCHA.