The privatization of our public housing

by Queenandi XSheba, Poor News Network

San Francisco – The demise of the historically Black Fillmore district should have been a wake-up call for all of the residents. Snobby joggers and bikers who refuse to obey traffic signals flooded the Fillmore by the masses practically overnight. Even some of the events hosted by public schools became pricier to accommodate those with stolen privileges.

POOR rally against public housing privatization Queenandi 092413 by PNN, webPolitricktians are in bed with devilopers, selling out every piece of stolen, native land to the greediest, heartless bidder. So with the possibility of public housing becoming private, where does that leave the people who have been in this neighborhood for generations, such as my family and myself?

Out in the cold, begging the bikers with false entitlement and looking to snooty joggers for mercy and maybe the hope of THEM sharing THEIR land, which they had stolen from us and the natives, the Ohlone nation. For many of us revolutionary freedom fighters for humanity who refuse to live on our knees, this will not be the case.

As of right now, the Mayor’s Office of Housing is acting at warp speed to push through a proposal to HUD called Rental Assistance Demon-stration (RAD), which will ultimately mean the privatization of all the last shreds of public housing in San Francisco.

The Mayor’s Office and Housing Authority have been holding a series of last minute so-called “community” meetings in the public housing “projects” that will be bought and sold right from under us, claiming they will be improving our lives and communities.

This will have a direct, devastating impact on the poorest San Franciscans, the majority of us people of color who are already under attack and threat of displacement due to racist and classist housing policies and gentrifukation efforts by big businesses and corporate non-profit and for-profit housing developments moving into communities like Hunters Point, Western Addition and the Mission.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing is acting at warp speed to push through a proposal to HUD called Rental Assistance Demon-stration (RAD), which will ultimately mean the privatization of all the last shreds of public housing in San Francisco.

“They are selling public housing stock off to private investors as mortgages, which means they can’t guarantee what private investors do with their investments,” says Paul Boden of the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP), who has done research on the destruction of public housing for poor peoples in the U.S. to get some truth beyond the acronyms.

This underhanded tactic would lead to an exodus through evictions and displacement of the people who have been on this Ohlone land for generations, just for the land to be stolen again. We become the victims of white supremacy and classism once again … with nowhere to go and nothing to show for “investing” in our hood after all this time.

Poor folks and those of color put your shields of “just us” on and unite, because the battle has just started.

Calling all conscious lawyers!

POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE is putting out an urgent call to all conscious lawyers and law firms to join us in making “herstory” by representing a class of current residents of public housing units in San Francisco suing for our equity. This is meant to change the conversation about historical and current examples of gentrification, displacement and “Negro removal” that have happened for generations to our poor, Black and Brown communities and result in the poverty, instability and genocide of our communities of color.

Queenandi XSheba, a journalist with Poor News Network, can be reached via deeandtiny@poormagazine.org.