SF’s public housing residents call on city to fix dangerous conditions

Mold, bedbugs and leaky pipes are among the issues, according to residents

San Francisco /
Oct.October 25, 2021 04:04 PM
Sites in Potrero Hill and Visitacion Valley are dangerous, according to tenants (iStock)

Leaky pipes. Bedbugs. Unresponsive landlords.

Those top the list of complaints listed by residents of two public housing complexes owned and operated by San Francisco’s housing authority, who called out the city this week for failing to address the issues, the Mercury News reported.

Anti-gentrification group United Front Against Displacement publicized the concerns. It said the issues have long gone unanswered by the San Francisco Housing Authority, which owns and manages the properties.

“For years, the San Francisco Housing Authority has engaged in a consistent pattern of willful negligence in its properties, irresponsibly forcing residents to inhabit dangerous apartments,” the group said in a statement.

The sites are in Potrero Hill and Visitacion Valley, both in the southeastern quadrant of the city, and house about 3,800 people. They are the only two public housing developments owned and administered by the city’s long-struggling Housing Authority, which also administers 13,000 housing vouchers for low-income residents and just recently climbed out of a $30-million deficit.

Three years ago, the financial instability forced the city’s chief auditor to take over the SFHA and outsource its finances and administration to third-parties. As of late 2020, it was no longer in default with the federal government.

The long-term plan is for the city to rebuild the dilapidated housing, as well as add some market-rate units to create some mixed-income developments. But that project is still several years from completion. In the meantime, residents are still living with failing plumbing, pest and mold issues, United Front said.

Plans to hand over management of the two sites to an outside company in December aren’t raising confidence among residents, many of whom fear that a private landlord will be more likely to raise rents and eviction rates than the city.

Residents “demand that their apartments be repaired while remaining public housing and not handed over to private developers and management companies,” the group said.

Representatives from the Housing Authority didn’t return requests for a comment, according to the Mercury News.





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