Remodels for public housing are closer to becoming reality

The plan to rebuild San Francisco’s most troubled and decrepit public housing sites is moving forward with nine developers applying to rebuild the sites.

The idea of creating a local version of the federal Hope IV program — which provides funds to local housing authorities to rebuild dilapidated housing projects was planted during the tenure of former Mayor Willie Brown. Mayor Gavin Newsom, however, has championed the idea of rebuilding public housing units within new mixed-income developments and last year allocated $5 million within The City’s budget to help pay for $95 million in bonds that would fund initial rebuilds.

The San Francisco Housing Authority, which manages more than 6,400 housing units for low-income residents, has seen its federal funding dwindle over the years, which has led to poor housing conditions. The housing is estimated to be in need of repairs of more than $269 million.

The funding from the bond would pay for the rebuild of up to 900 units of public housing along with up to 400 new below market rate homes and up to 900 market-rate homes, according to a release from the Mayor’s Office of Housing.

The first public housing site to undergo a rebuild is Hunters View, a 267-unit complex in the Bayview district, said Doug Shoemaker, from the Mayor’s Office of Housing.

“There’s a strong desire to see a project in the southeast sector,” he said.

Looking forward, the housing authority has also received development proposals for the following public housing sites: Portrero Terrace; Potrero Annex, Sunnydale; Velasco, Westbrook; Hunters Point A East, and Westside Courts. A panel that includes members from the housing authority, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and San Francisco’s redevelopment agency will evaluate the responses and make recommendations.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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