Sunnydale residents hold BBQ to garner support to oppose HOPE SF’s redevelopment plan

Sunnydale, San Francisco’s largest public housing development, was not built for the poor people of color who have lived in the 767 apartments for the past many decades. It was built in 1941 for white war workers and then for the families of the young soldiers and sailors returning from the war to create what’s now called the “baby boom.” In those days, the housing was well maintained. Since then, “deferred maintenance” has allowed it to be nearly uninhabitable and provides the excuse to rebuild, but again not mostly for the poor people of color who live there now. – Photo courtesy of FoundSF 

by Dale Smith, United Front Against Displacement

On Saturday, Feb. 6, at 12:00 noon in the parking lot between 1521 and 1565 Sunnydale Ave., residents will be holding a community BBQ to discuss how to oppose the new development happening at Sunnydale. The San Francisco Housing Authority and Mercy Housing – an affordable housing management corporation – have been pushing through their plans for redevelopment during the pandemic. 

Many residents are afraid these plans will lead to displacement and other serious problems going unaddressed in the process, creating a much worse situation. Both SFHA and Mercy claim to have received resident input during this process, but most residents have felt meetings between the companies and residents have been a formality and that they haven’t been heard at all. 

In fact, residents who are being asked into the new buildings feel they are being bullied into doing so – and SFHA isn’t being up front about changes that will accompany the move. 

Residents are also planning a protest Saturday, Feb. 13, at the SFHA main office to expose the Housing Authority and Mercy for what their actions truly represent. 

The United Front Against Displacement is collaborating with Sunnydale residents to host this BBQ to help raise awareness about the real scope of this project and garner support for its opposition. Residents have started gathering signatures for a petition with a list of demands that they will take to the Housing Authority. Residents are also planning a protest Saturday, Feb. 13, at the SFHA main office to expose the Housing Authority and Mercy for what their actions truly represent. 

If we come together, we can stop this redevelopment and make sure whatever is done is in the interests of the people! 

The United Front Against Displacement is an anti-gentrification organization that resists gentrification and pushes back against attempts to criminalize and displace people.