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

<object class="wp-block-file__embed" data="https://theufad.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/press-release-june-12th-sf-city-hall-protest-1.pdf&quot; type="application/pdf" style="width:100%;height:600px" aria-label="Embed of June 12 Press Release (English and Spanish)Download

On Saturday, June 12th at 3pm at San Francisco City Hall, tenants of the last two public housing developments in San Francisco, Sunnydale and Potrero Hill, alongside Oakland public housing tenants, will protest the nationwide privatization of public housing and intentional neglect by the San Francisco and Oakland Housing Authorities. 

This protest is part of a nationally coordinated effort with public housing tenants in New York and Boston, who on June 10th are protesting Bank of America, which funds and profits from gentrification and the privatization of public housing across the country.

In San Francisco, Sunnydale and Potrero Hill tenants are protesting the HOPE SF scheme, which is destroying their homes to pave the way for private developers Mercy Housing and Related California at Sunnydale, and BRIDGE Housing at Potrero Hill, to make a huge profit from pushing people out of their homes and building luxury condos. The HOPE SF scheme isn’t about “revitalizing” San Francisco, it’s a plan by the politicians, real estate developers, and banks including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan Chase to get richer.

San Francisco tenants and Cypress Village tenants from Oakland are also speaking out against SFHA’s and OHA’s deliberate neglect of basic repairs and maintenance of buildings, which is part of their strategy to justify handing public housing to the banks and developers. All the while, the Housing Authorities are corrupt and show favoritism to certain tenants. After many families have lost work due to the pandemic, the Housing Authorities have not adjusted their rents, forcing people to pay more than they can afford. Housing Authorities also charge families with mixed immigration status a higher percentage of their income.

The nationwide privatization of public housing is being sold to tenants as an improvement of their situation, but tenants know this is a lie. San Francisco and Oakland public housing tenants are taking a stand with public housing tenants across the country.

El sábado 12 de junio a las 3 pm en el Ayuntamiento de San Francisco, los inquilinos de los dos últimos desarrollos de viviendas públicas en San Francisco, Sunnydale y Potrero Hill, junto con los inquilinos de viviendas públicas de Oakland, protestarán contra la privatización a nivel nacional de las viviendas públicas y la negligencia intencional por parte de San Francisco. Autoridades de Vivienda de Francisco y Oakland.

Esta protesta es parte de un esfuerzo coordinado a nivel nacional con los inquilinos de viviendas públicas en Nueva York y Boston, quienes el 10 de junio están protestando contra el Bank of America, que financia y se beneficia de la gentrificación y la privatización de la vivienda pública en todo el país.

En San Francisco, los inquilinos de Sunnydale y Potrero Hill están protestando contra el esquema HOPE SF, que está destruyendo sus casas para allanar el camino para que los desarrolladores privados Mercy Housing y Related California en Sunnydale y BRIDGE Housing en Potrero Hill, obtengan una gran ganancia al presionar gente fuera de sus casas y construyendo condominios de lujo. El esquema HOPE SF no se trata de “revitalizar” San Francisco, es un plan de políticos, promotores inmobiliarios y bancos como Bank of America, Wells Fargo y JP Morgan Chase para enriquecerse.

Los inquilinos de San Francisco y Cypress Village de Oakland también se están pronunciando en contra del descuido deliberado de SFHA y OHA de las reparaciones básicas y el mantenimiento de edificios, que es parte de su estrategia para justificar la entrega de viviendas públicas a los bancos y desarrolladores. Mientras tanto, las autoridades de vivienda son corruptas y muestran favoritismo hacia ciertos inquilinos. Después de que muchas familias perdieron el trabajo debido a la pandemia, las autoridades de vivienda no ajustaron sus rentas, lo que obligó a las personas a pagar más de lo que pueden pagar. Las autoridades de vivienda también cobran a las familias con estatus migratorio mixto un porcentaje más alto de sus ingresos.

La privatización a nivel nacional de la vivienda pública se vende a los inquilinos como una mejora de su situación, pero los inquilinos saben que esto es mentira. Los inquilinos de viviendas públicas de San Francisco y Oakland están adoptando una postura con los inquilinos de viviendas públicas en todo el país.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 26, 2021

Contact:
United Front Against Displacement
510-815-9978
wewontgo@riseup.net

SAN FRANCISCO HOUSING AUTHORITY MANAGEMENT SCAMS UNDOCUMENTED PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS AT POTRERO HILL, CHARGING 60% OF INCOME

San Francisco Housing Authority management is charging at least ten families with undocumented family members in public housing at Potrero Hill 60% of their income for rent.

These tenants say that the San Francisco Housing Authority management told them they had to pay 60% of their income for rent because of a regulation change made under the Trump administration. These tenants have not been given rent receipts when they pay their rent.

The San Francisco Housing Authority has a history of corruption and stealing from residents, and of planned neglect of buildings. This extortion is occurring at the same time that the residents are being displaced and priced out of their homes by the San Francisco Housing Authority, in collaboration with HOPE SF, BRIDGE Housing at Potrero Hill, and Mercy Housing and Related California at Sunnydale, to make way for market rate housing units. SFHA is neglecting tenants’ needs and maintenance requests and forcing them to live in dangerous conditions, so that these private management companies can pressure tenants to sign leases with them and leave public housing. Their plan is to eliminate the last public housing in the city at Potrero Hill and Sunnydale. Meanwhile, tenants have continued to suffer great negligence and racist abuse from managers.

Please contact us if you are interested in interviewing residents and attending a future protest residents are organizing to expose these atrocities.

Rally and Outreach Against Privatization at the Harlem State Office Building, Friday, May 28 at 5pm

On Friday, May 28 at 5pm, tenants protesting the privatization of their public housing developments in Harlem and throughout New York City will gather at the State Building at 125th street for a rally and public information event. The event will be a celebration of several months of organizing among several housing sites in New York City as well as of the partial victory—the scaling back of NYCHA CEO Greg Russ’s initial plan to privatize all remaining 110,000 units NYCHA housing stock to 25,000 units under the notorious “Blueprint” (section 18) housing plan. This retreat by Privatization Czar Russ followed a month of outrage in protests and media throughout New York City.

The Friday event is also a rallying cry for the harder fight ahead, a struggle against the privatization and inevitable displacement that is still promoted by leading politicians in both parties and their friends in the leading financial institutions. These plans have been advanced by the deliberate neglect of basic repairs and maintenance of NYCHA buildings, by a strategy to run the housing into the ground and then to hand over what is left to the market.People from the president of the US to the leading bankers in NY to the hopeful candidates in upcoming elections all are paying empty lip-service to “affordable housing” while selling out this housing to their true “stake-holders”- real-estate developers and Wall Street.

For more information, please write to nogonyc@riseup.net or call 646-780-9657

Video Recording from Truth Commission on RAD and the Privatization of Public Housing: May 4, 2021

A recording of an event held May 4, 2021 which featured activists and public housing residents from across the country discussing their experiences and sharing updates from the struggle against the privatization of public housing. Hosted by the United Front Against Displacement and the Justice for All Coalition.

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

Join public housing tenants from Cypress Village and Lockwood Gardens in Oakland and Sunnydale in San Francisco in a discussion about recent tenant organizing efforts. The San Francisco and Oakland Housing Authorities, just like Housing Authorities across the country, have been forcing tenants to live in dangerous conditions in order to justify selling public housing off to the highest bidder. Tenants at the few public housing projects left in the Bay Area are coming together to fight back.

Learn about the nationwide plan by the politicians, the developers, and the banks to eliminate all public housing by handing it over to private developers and management companies, and what tenants in the Bay Area are doing to stop it! There will be a brief presentation and some roundtable discussion about how people can work together to fight against the privatization of public housing and gentrification locally and nationally.

This event is part of a national movement. On May 4, over 100 people participated in a Truth Commission on the nationwide privatization of public housing across on Zoom. Tenants are organizing in San Francisco, Oakland, New York, Boston, and Minneapolis.

In Oakland, tenants have been organizing at the last two public housing developments in the city: Cypress Village in West Oakland and Lockwood Gardens in East Oakland. Cypress and Lockwood are not currently facing privatization but residents have been organizing to form independent tenant unions to fight for residents’ interests and be prepared to fight against privatization.

In San Francisco, there is a citywide privatization plan called HOPE SF. The city government, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Google, Kaiser Permanente, and foundations in the city are working together via the HOPE SF scheme. HOPE SF’s plan is to eliminate the last public housing in San Francisco (Sunnydale, Potrero, Double Rock/Alice Griffith, and Hunters View) by destroying it 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 still under the San Francisco Housing Authority: Sunnydale and Potrero. Tenants at Sunnydale have been organizing to resist the privatization and destruction of their homes, to not be bullied into signing leases with the private developer 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, as we’ve seen in developments that have been privatized in the Bay Area and across the country. Sunnydale residents have been working with residents at Potrero and privatized developments like Double Rock.

This event is sponsored by the United Front Against Displacement, the Cypress Village Tenant Union, and the Residents of Sunnydale.

Contact:

Email: wewontgo@riseup.net 
Text/call 510-815-9978
Website theufad.org
Social media @theufad

TENANTS FROM ALL FIVE BOROUGHS RALLY AT HARLEM RIVER HOUSES TO STOP RAD/ PRIVATIZATION CITYWIDE

For Immediate Release: May 3, 2021

Residents of Harlem River Houses and Fulton Houses were joined by neighbors from across the five boroughs on Saturday May 1st at Charles Young Triangle in East Harlem (153rd and Macombs Pl) for a rally and march, and to commence a rent-strike starting the same day.

The rent strike is an oppositional measure taken in the face of attempts by NYCHA and the City to convert their homes to Section 8 and private management through the RAD/PACT program. Lawyer Arthur Schwartz, with Advocates for Justice, was among the attendees and speakers, and was collecting checks to deposit into the escrow account, officially initiating the process.

After the rally, which included speakers from Harlem River and Fulton Houses, as well as Holmes Towers & residents on the front lines against RAD and privatization in Boston and Minneapolis, the group marched in Harlem River Houses demanding homes remain in service of people, not profit.

Tenants then posted a petition on the doors of NYCHA’s local management office at 152nd Street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd and the management office of the new private company.

The petition, signed by nearly 200 households of the nearly 700 apartments in the complex makes their opposition to RAD clear and demands residents not be forced into signing leases that accede to the privatization of their housing:

“The vast majority of Harlem River Tenants did not ask for RAD, did not approve RAD, and will fight back against this attempt to destabilize and displace working class families. We plan to unite with others facing RAD takeovers and similar schemes across the city and throughout the country. We will not be bullied into signing new leases designed to allow private companies to raise rents and make windfall profits.”

The event was co-sponsored by the United Front Against Displacement (UFAD) and the Justice for All Coalition (JFAC), and was attended by delegations from Committee for Independent Community Action (CICA), CAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, and the Holmes-Isaacs Coalition.

In tandem, UFAD and JFAC are also hosting a “Truth Commission on RAD/PACT and the Privatization of Public Housing” which will be held via zoom on Tuesday May 4th from 7-9pm.

Speakers will include residents living in RAD-converted developments in NYC (or those in process), as well as residents from Boston, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Oakland who are on the frontlines of the privatization of public housing.

For more information on the events of at Harlem River Houses, please contact nogonyc@riseup.net , 646-780-9657

For more information on the Truth Commission, please contact jfacoalition@gmail.com, 347 531– 8339


Some Quotations from the Rally at Harlem River Houses on Sat. May 1st:

Francisco Rodriguez, a resident of Harlem River Houses stated,

“The reason they are changing stuff is because we are not fighting. A lot of people are fighting for a lot of stuff and they come together and they win. Like the union, they come together and they fight and they win But we are standing here today for that one reason, to fight against New York City Housing so they don’t take you out. Fight for your place where you live today, and don’t let NYC Housing try to pull you out of something where you came out from to be where you are to be where you are now. I was five years homeless in the streets and I walked by 8th avenue and Frederick Douglas Blvd, and I walked by 2850 [Frederick Douglas where Harlem River Public Housing is located] and now I live in that same building that I passed by a couple of years back … We got to come together. You can’t be afraid.”
La Keesha Taylor of the Holmes-Isaacs Coalition said;

“They were gonna take all the air, all the sunlight away from me and all the people in my development, but we fought back, and you all have to fight back … They think they’re gonna take it from us and we’re gonna lay down, but we’re going to fight. We started a lawsuit, we knocked on those doors, we said stand up and fight with us, and we won.”

Arthur Schwartz, lawyer with Advocates for Justice, & candidate for City Council of the 3rd District stated,

“[Chuck Schumer] announced last week, he did a press conference … He said We’re gonna get NYCHA $40 billion to meet all the capital needs that they have. Now I don’t necessarily trust NYCHA to spend the $40 billion properly. But once they get this money they don’t need RAD, they don’t need privatization. Because the excuse they’ve been giving is that the federal government never funds NYCHA enough to do the repairs we need. Now it’s very likely that sometime in June, NYCHA is going to get $40 billion to fix every last piece of these falling apart buildings that you live in … So, I wrote a letter to Greg Russ, it’s on the table over there, and I said, Mr. Russ, I had written to him about Fulton … Why are you forcing people—I heard about at Harlem River Houses—to sign these leases. The leases, I don’t care what the Legal Aid Society Says [Legal Aid has a contract to work with RAD conversions] do not give people the rights they have as NYCHA tenants. Because the NYCHA lease says right in the leases you have rights under federal law and state law. And these RAD laws don’t say that. They are private sector leases just like for people who reside in private buildings… So I wrote to him and said these leases take away rights from people, and you don’t need the money from these private corporations that you’re inviting to run NYCHA. He wrote me back in three days, and I said if you don’t stop, stop forcing people at Harlem River Houses to sign leases and put RAD on hold until the federal government acts on this bill, I’m going to court to sue you.”

Ladan Yusuf, from Defend Glendale, a group that has fought privatization of public housing under the RAD program in Minneapolis for the past six years submitted a statement that was read out loud by a Harlem River resident:

“Sisters and Brothers of Harlem River and Fulton Public Housing. We are in Solidarity with You. Stand up against Greg Russ and his developers and the city officials who want to displace your homes and communities through RAD and privatization without your consent. Continue to organize and fight to save your homes and communities. Continue to speak truth to power, and let the world know how Greg Russ deceives us, and through privatization, and gentrification is deceiving and misleading you … Greg Russ came to lead our public housing from 2017 to 2019. He lied, he bullied, he intimidated – to silence residents into accepting RAD; he used non-profits, developers, banks, mainstream media elected officials to push his plan.”
Heywood Fennel Sr. from Grant Manor, a development undergoing privatization in Boston stated at the event:

“We should be unified. We can beat these people, we will beat these people, we must beat these people. We cannot let these people tell us how to live without dignity. We want dignity and the only way we’re gonna get it is if we have to do it, we will fight for it. We will not let our houses become condominiums for rich people, and we will put our money into escrow.”

Truth Commission on RAD/PACT and the privatization of public housing: May 4th on Zoom

Comisión de Verdad 

Programas de RAD y la privatización de alojamiento publico 

Martes, el cuatro de Mayo, 2021
4 de la Tarde por Zoom

https://zoom.us/join
teléfono: 929-436-2866
ID de Reunión: 836 8367 7223
Contraseña : 399431

Panelistas incluyen residentes de edificios convertidos por RAD, o están en proceso de ser convertidos/privatizados.

Ellos platicarán sobre abusos or violaciones con respecto a sus derechos humanos y como inquilinos.

Habrán inquilinos de Harlem River Houses (NYC), Fulton Houses (NYC), Hope Gardens, Ocean Bay Houses(NYC), Sunnydale (SF) y Grant Manor (Boston) 

Protest at Harlem River Houses, NYC – Saturday, May 1, 1pm

NYCHA/ RAD is breaking the law in its scheme to hand ownership of public housing over to the worst predatory banks and property managers in NYC. In the meantime, they’ve abandoned tenants, ignored repair requests, and let buildings fall into disrepair. Harlem River Houses is one of the first Public Housing Developments in NYC.They think if they pull this off here, others will fall. Let’s Rise up and Say No

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

On Saturday, April 10th at 12pm at 1654 Sunnydale Avenue, in front of the San Francisco Housing Authority office at Sunnydale, residents of the Sunnydale housing projects will hold a protest to oppose the HOPE SF plan to privatize and redevelop all of Sunnydale. The SFHA, Mercy Housing, and Related California plan to demolish residents’ homes and replace them with mixed income Mercy Housing units. In other words, the plan is to eliminate public housing through privatization.

Residents at Sunnydale and Hahn received 90-day notices from SFHA stating that they have to leave their homes by April 13th, 2021 so they can be demolished for the next phase of the redevelopment. Residents are opposing the redevelopment because they know it will lead to everyone at Sunnydale being displaced. Residents don’t want to be forced out of their homes. Residents don’t want to move into the new poorly constructed Mercy Housing apartment buildings and live under a private landlord. 

The federal government and Housing Authorities across the country purposefully let public housing like Sunnydale fall into disrepair and seriously threaten residents’ wellbeing in order to justify privatizing public housing. We have seen privatization happen on a massive scale over the past decade across the country with programs like the HOPE VI and the RAD program, which have had disastrous results for people living in public housing. The city of San Francisco says that the HOPE SF plan is different, but residents know that it is more of the same.

Sunnydale residents and the United Front Against Displacement are holding this protest to expose the true nature of the HOPE SF plan. On March 9th, residents and activists rallied in front of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development and City Hall, and on February 13th in front of the SFHA office at 1815 Egbert Avenue. Together, the people will continue to oppose the plan to privatize Sunnydale.

The United Front Against Displacement is an anti-gentrification organization that resists gentrification and struggles against attempts to criminalize and displace people.

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

February 9, 2021
510-815-9978

wewontgo@riseup.net

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.