Young Community Developers has been fighting for Bayview residents and the entire District 10 community for over 45 years.
In 2016, YCD fully leased up its first affordable housing project (working with for-profit developer AMCAL) on the Shipyard (Pacific Point), with 59 units of housing, all at 50 percent of area median income.
In the beginning, YCD had brought back 12 certificate of preference (COP) holders into the community, ensured over 50 percent of residents were African American (from the community) working with Bayview Hunters Point Multi-Senior Services and the community at large. This was a big win for all of our efforts to fight gentrification and displacement of the African American community; we should also note that the entire building is majority minority housing.
Within the first six months of being fully leased, AMCAL unilaterally tried to raise rents 10 percent for all residents after receiving new income guidelines from HUD. This was neither acceptable nor required as AMCAL was netting (after expenses) over $30,000.00 per month.
When YCD told AMCAL this was unacceptable, they were not happy but conceded at the time. A few months later they raised the rents (unilaterally) 3 percent for all residents in 2017.
YCD was unhappy and has informed AMCAL of its disdain with that decision for months.
Now, a year later, AMCAL has unilaterally decided to raise rents again with another proposed 3 percent increase. Not only are they trying to raise rents in our city while we fight gentrification, displacement and affordability concerns, they are now refusing to speak with YCD (which is required by our limited partnership agreement).
The staff at AMCAL is refusing to connect the team at YCD with its management staff and they are doing this with disregard to the morality that should exist when you are in the business of working with people.
So in an era where Tetra Tech has falsified samples of toxins on the shipyard, we now have a developer, AMCAL, that is trying to attack the quality of life of a community of residents that are already isolated and disenfranchised. AMCAL is basically contributing to the forces that have been forcing people out of San Francisco for years by making it impossible for some residents to pay their rent and removing the “affordable” from the affordable housing promised to our community years ago.
The following needs to happen:
1) AMCAL needs to never raise rents on residents when they are realizing a solid profit monthly (particularly when residents are already paying about one-third of their income towards rent);
2) AMCAL should never be allowed to receive another development opportunity in San Francisco (their morals and philosophy do not jell with our values in San Francisco and they are the exact opposite of a responsible developer that cares about people and our neighborhoods);
3) Since we are currently stuck with AMCAL as the co-developer for Pacific Point, AMCAL needs to consult with YCD on every major decision before even thinking about causing harm to residents at Pacific Point and stay true to the limited partnership agreement in place);
4) Any future decision AMCAL wishes to make that affects residents at Pacific Point should include a community process where residents are not only informed, but also have an opportunity to provide input in decision making;
5) Email AMCAL asset manager Ryan Barnett at rbarnett@AmcalHousing.com and let him know we won’t tolerate these types of predatory practices in San Francisco.
YCD has been more than fair in its approach with AMCAL (to no avail at this point). AMCAL’s actions have been underhanded and irresponsible at best, and if they continue in their course of action, the damage will be irreparable and feed the gentrification of the African American community and push more people out of The City. Please join us in publicly putting AMCAL on notice that their mode of operation will not be tolerated in San Francisco. This is an appalling scenario and we have all been working together to fight the dismantling of our neighborhoods and communities. Together, we can beat them!
Shamann Walton is the executive director of Young Community Developers (a workforce development organization in Bayview Hunters Point), member of the San Francisco Board of Education and a candidate for District 10 Supervisor in San Francisco.