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Mayor Lee Signs Historic Legislation for Mixed-Income Development in Sunnydale and Potrero Hill

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today signed historic legislation to authorize the phased redevelopment of the Potrero Terrace and Annex and Sunnydale public housing sites, both part of the City’s HOPE SF neighborhood transformation initiative.

Once completed, the re-envisioned Potrero Hill and Sunnydale communities will be mixed-income, service-enriched communities, affordable to more than 3,000 low-income and middle-class families, and developed according to the non-displacement principles of the Mayor’s HOPE SF initiative.

“Today’s commitment to Sunnydale and Potrero Hill families shows that San Francisco is delivering on our promise to ensure all of our residents, especially our low-income families, share in the prosperity of our City,” said Mayor Lee. “After years of hard work by community partners and leaders, particularly our residents, today we take a significant step in fulfilling our City’s promise to low-income families in Sunnydale and Potrero Hill, and righting a historic wrong. I commend Supervisor Malia Cohen, Board President London Breed and our Board of Supervisors for unanimously approving the entitlements necessary for launching the historic rebuild of vibrant mixed-income communities without displacement of residents.”

San Francisco’s HOPE SF initiative is the nation’s first large-scale public housing transformation and reparations effort aimed at disrupting intergenerational poverty, reducing social isolation, and creating vibrant mixed-income communities without mass displacement. Backed by significant local funding, including the 2015 $310 million affordable housing bond, HOPE SF places residents first, ensuring that the households currently living in the community have the first chance to move into new housing as development progresses.

“Today, we stand tall as a City, and put the entire nation on notice that we put our resources where our values are,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen. “This is an incredible and historic moment for our City. Rebuilding public housing is one of the most transformative initiatives we can move forward.”

“Generations and generations of families have waited for this day, telling me: ‘it’s not going to happen,” said long-time Sunnydale resident community leader Ruth Jackson. “But today we have given our families hope where little existed, and life where there was constant strife. Our children and seniors will now have a safe place to believe and grow.”

Potrero Hill construction begins this month and construction is expected to begin in Sunnydale later this year, including the development of new roadways, sidewalks, transit connections, and utilities in a regular street grid pattern that will reconnect the communities with their surrounding neighborhoods for the first time ever. In addition to Sunnydale and Potrero, HOPE SF includes the redevelopment of Alice Griffith and Hunters View communities in Bayview Hunters Point, each well under way.

“It’s amazing to finally see change coming to Potrero Hill,” added recent San Francisco State graduate and Potrero Hill resident Terry Jones. “Growing up, I felt isolated and segregated from the rest of the city in terms of financial opportunities and prosperity. Now with the rebuild finally happening, we residents can finally feel and be a part of the changing San Francisco that was long overdue.”

The development agreements signed today clear the way for these important projects to begin. The transformation of more than 80 acres of mixed-income housing will be developed over the next 15 years through a partnership between the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Housing Authority, and the master developer for each site – Bridge Housing for Potrero and a partnership of Mercy Housing and Related California for Sunnydale. These innovative public-private partnerships build on extensive community leadership and philanthropic support, contribute extensive development expertise, provide on-site relocation services for existing residents, and leverage diverse public financing sources for the projects.

“From our perspective, partnering with residents to transform Sunnydale is first and foremost an investment in people,” says Doug Shoemaker, President of Mercy Housing California. “Beyond just developing new homes, we see one of our principal roles as helping the City and residents of Sunnydale achieve fundamental aspirations—educate our children, keep our families safe, and share in the economic prosperity that surrounds Sunnydale.”  

“Sunnydale HOPE SF continues our longstanding commitment to mixed income housing and the creation of a true neighborhood, with services and amenities for all,” said Related California CEO William Witte.

“The Potrero master plan reflects the vision that was developed through an extensive community engagement process,” said Cynthia A. Parker, BRIDGE Housing President and CEO. “We’re proud of our role in the collaborative efforts to not only transform the physical environment, but also improve social outcomes for residents and provide the foundation for a thriving, mixed-income neighborhood.”

HOPE SF is a community-driven partnership with residents, and is being implemented by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) leading the transformation of the City’s most distressed public housing communities. MOHCD anticipates financing more than $500 million to support the successful redevelopment of Sunnydale and Potrero Hill.

Potrero Hill and Sunnydale will replace 1:1 each public housing unit, and add approximately another 1,000 homes in each neighborhood for low-income and middle-class households. Each project will include more than 3.5 acres of newly-constructed public open space, with amenities such as children play areas, plazas, and urban gardens. Additionally, both projects include significant new space for retail and supportive social services, as well as state-of-the-art community and recreation centers. The San Francisco Housing Authority is an anchor partner supporting the development and resident engagement processes.

“This is no longer the ‘other side’ of Potrero Hill or the ‘swamps’ of Sunnydale. This is our community, our San Francisco. Today we move forward and stand united as residents, community leaders, developers, and city partners in repairing a historic wrong of public policy,” said Theo Miller, HOPE SF Director.