“Three more decrepit San Francisco public housing developments will be refashioned into denser neighborhoods that include some market-rate housing, under a new agreement between the Housing Authority and construction companies that say they’re up for the job.
The Housing Authority Commission on Tuesday named Sunnydale in Visitacion Valley, the Potrero Terrace-Potrero Annex complex on Potrero Hill and Westside Courts in the Western Addition as the next developments to be rebuilt using a mix of public and private funds.
The remade projects will include the same number of public housing units they do now, as well as hundreds of new affordable and market-rate rental units and homes for sale to help offset the costs. In all, there will be about 3,000 units in the new neighborhoods.”
“Bridge Housing Corp. will lead a team to build 605 public housing units and 1151 new units at the Potrero Hill development. Mercy Housing will lead a team to build 785 public housing units and 1,498 new units at Sunnydale. And Em Johnson Interest will lead a team to rebuild 136 existing units and 220 new units at Westside Courts.”
3 S.F. public housing areas getting rebuilt [SFGate]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by gmlight

    I’m curious as to who would buy a home that is located within a public housing project and at what cost. I am having a hard time understanding why someone would want to buy such a home, unless it was VERY inexpensive. Would these homes even sell for at least what is costs to build them?

  2. Posted by cy

    it doesn’t seem clear in the article — where are all of the residents supposed to LIVE while these new units are being built?

  3. Posted by zzzzzzzz

    “….The remade projects will include the same number of public housing units they do now, as well as hundreds of new affordable and market-rate rental units…
    What is the difference between a “public housing unit” and an “affordable” unit? Isn’t public housing “affordable?” To me it just reeks of PC euphemization.

  4. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Renter)

    I’m with gmlight on this one. Who would pay full price to live in the ghetto? Unless they put an electric fence and razorwire around the BMR units or something …
    (on second thought, we already have that — its called San Quentin! Ha!!)

  5. Posted by curtis

    re the difference between “public housing unit” and “affordable” unit.
    The plan, as i understand it, requires that the existing public housing units be replaced one-for-one. The SF Housing Authority would continue to subsidize the rents for these units and the tenants would continue to pay a rent equal to 1/3 of their income. The “affordable” units would be built under a different program, presumably with tax credits and tax-exempt bonds. Rents would be restricted to be affordable for households of a particular income level. For instance, a 1-bedroom apt could rent at $700/mo for households with an income of $28,000/year (approx 50% of the area median income).
    I don’t know for sure regarding where the tenants would live during construction but suspect that given the low densities of the existing sites that the developers could actually build new housing on the site before demolishing the old units. The tenants could then move to the new buildings, at which time the developer would demolish the old buildings in order to build the new market-rate and “affordable” units.

  6. Posted by invented

    “Westside Courts in the Western Addition”
    Appears this is the forbidding concrete development on Geary just one block from blossoming Japantown.
    Imagine that SF:
    1) coordinates the design aesthetic of J-Town rising into this development
    2) includes market rate housing in the mix (buyers WILL buy in).
    3) considers true density heights and bulk on this critical ransit rich Geary/Fillmore site.
    4) doesn’t underbuild yet another key site.
    I’m losing count of the number of under-realized developments which are in proposal stage. City can’t build 2-3 stories on a key boulevard AND continue the constituent-popular whine about not enough housing. What gives Ross?

  7. Posted by natomahead

    addressing the “who will buy here” questions: Bayview/Hunter’s Point (near one of these sites) is considered by many (all?) the “ghetto”, and yet it has the highest percentage of homeownership in the City. So people DO buy near projects and in depressed/disenfranchised areas. Poor people want to own too. Homes are not just for the rich. Get over yourselves.

  8. Posted by jamie

    Honestly … even the “market rate” will likely need to be well below other areas just because of the assumption that young kids from the projects will terrorize you and your loved ones if you have anything of value to steal. Of course the image and the reality may be very different … but as someone who exited Detroit, I’ll tell you that the perception is all that matters. Do you want to travel to Detroit?

  9. Posted by Mystery Realtor

    Why do we even need housing projects? Why can’t the city do what HUD does and give out vouchers? It would go along way to cutting out the bloated waste that is the SFHA.
    M.R.

  10. Posted by Sashok

    “”Westside Courts in the Western Addition”
    Appears this is the forbidding concrete development on Geary just one block from blossoming Japantown.”
    – Wrong. This is a block between Post and Sutter, Baker and Broderick. It’s really tucked away from everything and is surrounded by purely residential blocks. It’s also quiet and safe enough, unlike the other projects. But it’s also one of the oldest.

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