By Pat Murphy
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel
As the Bush Administration continues to cut public housing federal assistance nationwide, two San Francisco officials have launched a $700 million investment plan to completely rebuild local public housing sites.
Terming the need “critical to make a real difference in the lives of public housing residents and community life,” San Francisco Supervisor Sophie Maxwell urged adoption of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s response to federal cuts.
Known as the HOPE SF Initiative, the term stems from past federal HOPE VI funding.
It leverages approximately $700 million in private and public funds through Newsom’s proposed $95 million bond passage. City general funds slated at $5 million would serve as seed money to launch the revenue bond.
Voter passage would provide reconstruction of from 800 to 900 public housing units in San Francisco, Newsom projected.
Additionally, it would help created from 250 to 350 new low-income homeowners and an estimated 700 to 900 new market rate homes and condominiums.
“I challenge anyone to identify a more pressing need for the City and County of San Francisco,” Newsom reiterated.
“The proposal is consistent with the principles outlined by the HOPE SF Task Force, which state that the money go to rebuild developments that commit to one-for-one replacement of all public housing units, phased development to minimize relocation, high levels of resident participation and support for the rebuilding efforts, and environmentally sustainable building practices and accessibility.”
Newsom and Maxwell also announced a partnership agreement between the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) and the City for “Safe and Decent Public Housing.”
The agreement formally recognizes the mutual accountability between City Departments and the SFHA on key issues such as public safety, healthy housing standards, human services, assistance in replacing obsolete housing (HOPE SF), and increased technology investment.
In March of 2007, Newsom and Maxwell co-sponsored a Task Force consisting of public housing residents, City Commissioners, community activists, and the business and labor community “to deliver recommendations on how to improve public housing in San Francisco.”
The Task Force called for a significant investment in the HOPE SF program, in response to cuts by the federal government for the HOPE VI housing program and public housing in general.
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past ten years. Pat scribes an offbeat view of the human family through Believe It or What.