3-Minute Interview: Mirian Saez

The interim director of the San Francisco Housing Authority, which oversees The City’s public housing, began her tenure with the authority Monday with Mayor Gavin Newsom and city department heads holding a meeting and taking a tour at the Sunnydale housing development. Saez took a six-month leave of absence from her job as Director of Island Operations on Treasure Island to be interim director as a national search is conducted for a full-time authority director.

What was it like out at Sunnydale on Monday morning? We picked up a lot of trash before the group got there. We tidied up. The place lacks landscaping. The place lacks attention to maintenance. I can’t tell if it’s a lack of resources or a lack of will that keeps things from looking as good as they should be.

What are your goals as an interim director? The transition team has a set of goals they want to get accomplished: anything from hooking the housing authority up to 311, to decreasing vacancies to improving trash collection. We also have an unbelievable opportunity with SF Hope [a proposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom to rebuild some public housing sites] to begin the planning process of redeveloping Sunnydale.

As interim director, how do you proceed with the job before you? One of the important things I have to get my head around is safety and security. … Other operational issues we’re trying to tackle is this whole eviction issue. So many evictions it’s causing a drain on coffers of service agencies. We need to try and figure that out in a way that’s not only fair and equitable to residents but also the Housing Authority. So for a six-month period I’ve got a lot on my plate.

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