The plan to privatize and sell our public housing projects in San Francisco and across the nation is harmful to the poor, elderly and disabled, including the thousands of union workers who have spent years maintaining our public housing units. Thousands of union workers are presently facing job losses due to public housing privatization schemes.
On Wednesday, April 8, at 9 a.m., after weeks of last minute legal maneuvers, unanswered calls to the mayor and multiple pleas for a pro bono lawyer to save the single mama Sabrina Carter and her three sons from one of the most unjust evictions I have ever witnessed, we were exhausted. The San Francisco sheriffs were outside her door in the Plaza East apartments to change the locks and throw her and her sons into the street.
Calls have flooded the POOR Magazine office from families and elders in desperate search for help and support to battle land thieves that utilize the Ellis Act to break laws that are in place to “protect the people” but that are overlooked or flat out ignored. As the hipster-techies invade the once family-oriented “City by the Bay,” the families and elders who contributed to the life of the Bay Area now watch helplessly as our homes are being stolen from us.
Because the Democrats joined the Republicans in allowing the sequestration budget cuts to continue in the latest political deal known as a “continuing resolution” that ended the government shutdown on Oct. 16, it appears to be a very grim situation for Section 8 voucher holders in cities all across the nation. Housing officials claim that 140,000 voucher holders are at risk of losing their vouchers because of the sequestration budget cuts.
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. 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?
The attack on low-income families in the Section 8 voucher program (Housing Choice Voucher Program) in Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco and across the nation intensified Sept. 27 when the U.S. Senate voted to continue with the catastrophic across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration with their vote for the Reid-Mikulski Amendment No. 1974 to House Joint Resolution 59.
It’s hard times for Berkeley’s poor in the Section 8 (Housing Choice) voucher program, and it’s been very difficult for the low-income households that have recently been pushed out of public housing and out of town. Their homes in public housing are being sold to out-of-state billionaires Stephen M. Ross and Jorge M. Perez.
Did a company called DMG Asset Management buy your foreclosed home? It bought Larry Faulks’ Diamond Heights home from Wells Fargo Bank after the bank put it up for foreclosure auction via a practice called dual tracking, whereby a bank forecloses and auctions off a home whose loan it is supposedly in the process of modifying.
Massive spending cuts to the nation’s federal housing programs are scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2013, threatening thousands of low-income families in Oakland and other Bay Area cities with higher rent than they can pay. Additionally, several hundred thousand or more low-income families all across the nation could lose their vouchers.
Ask anyone living in Cobble Hill or Carroll Gardens or Park Slope earlier this week, and they would tell you that they have power, hot water and wi-fi. In fact, most of the $1 million-plus townhouses and local businesses in Brooklyn’s wealthier neighborhoods never lost any basic necessities, even during the worst of the storm. But the Gowanus Houses, a low-income public housing complex owned and operated by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which falls almost at the intersection of those three neighborhoods, is an exception.
Berkeley is on a trend of gentrification and class genocide, making all of their so-called affordable housing, such as the University Avenue Cooperative Homes, unaffordable, discriminating against low-income communities of color with forced displacement through draconian policies to profiteer on, such as the recently proposed sit/lie law.
The restraining order barring DeBray (Fly Benzo) Carpenter from the Cahill construction site and the stay away order barring Fly’s presence at Mendell Plaza are SFPD examples of this nation’s conspiracy to mass incarcerate and control the lives and the deaths of the young, Black and male in America. A victory for Fly Benzo is a victory for us all. Pack the courtroom Wednesday, May 30, 1:30 p.m., at the San Francisco Superior Court, 400 McAllister St., Department 514. Occupy Fly Benzo’s courtroom for us all.
In another step to privatize Berkeley’s 75 occupied public housing town-homes, billionaire Stephen M. Ross, CEO and founder of The Related Companies and 95 percent owner of the Miami Dolphins, is in talks with the Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA) to buy Berkeley’s occupied public housing through one of his companies.
Six years ago, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast. The impact of Katrina and government bungling continue to inflict major pain on the people left behind. It is impossible to understand what happened and what still remains without considering race, gender and poverty. The following offer some hints of what remains.
Local housing authorities across the nation are preparing for major cuts to HUD’s Section 8 housing voucher programs after being directed in June by HUD to come up with lists to prioritize which voucher recipients would be dumped in the event of major cuts to the subsidized housing program.
Crying “Have a Heart, Save Our Homes,” a large Bay Area coalition marched in a driving rain from City Hall to the San Francisco Federal Building – Causa Justa/Just Cause, San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE and many more.
Eight young people, who the Fire Department said were “trying to stay warm,” perished in a raging fire during the night of Dec. 28 in New Orleans. Will we look into our abandoned buildings and look into the eyes of our abandoned daughters and sons and sisters and brothers? Will our nation address unemployment, high housing costs and low wages? Or will the fires continue and the lives end?
A Yes We Can Coalition of Asian and Black King-Garvey shareholders chanting, "Stop the land grab; yes, we can!" marched outside Citibank subsidiary Citi Community Capital in the heart of San Francisco's Financial District on Thursday, Nov. 13.
The Lower 9th Ward Village, a post-Katrina nonprofit community center, is to become a multipurpose, multi-use facility that caters to the community in general, with emphasis on providing services, skills training and recreational activities to youth and the elderly.
If HUD grants the Oakland Housing Authority permission to dispose of 1,615 public housing units for a nominal sum or for as little as $1 per parcel, 1,554 low-income families will be displaced from Oakland's public housing. Those families include 3,885 poor people - mostly children, young mothers, the aged, disabled and infirm.