Press Release

Mayor Newsom Announces Broadband Access In All San Francisco Public Housing Facilities

Installation of Wi-Fi Completed at All Public Housing Facilities

12/28/10- Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) today announced the completion of free Wi-Fi access in all public housing facilities. In June 2010, the SFHA entered into an agreement with the San Francisco Department of Technology to expand broadband access and adoption for low income residents, and today broadband Wi-Fi is available at all thirty three SFHA facilities including all HOPE SF sites. These changes lay the foundation for every resident living throughout public housing in the City to have better more meaningful access to the benefits of the internet.

“Free Wi-Fi and broadband access will create new opportunities for jobs, education and a better quality of life for our public housing residents,” said Mayor Newsom. “We must continue to work towards improving our public housing facilities, but I am proud we are making historic investments through HOPE SF to build sustainable, modern public housing and bridge the digital divide for families in public housing.”

“With the installation of these technological upgrades, access to the internet is now a reality for our residents,” said Henry Alvarez III, Executive Director of the SFHA. “These improvements also advance a primary core value of this agency which is to significantly improve the quality of life for our families, seniors, and disabled persons that we serve.”

HOPE SF is the City’s landmark SFHA public housing transformation effort, which recently received its first long-term financing commitment envisioned as part of the City’s $95 million commitment. Hunters View is the first of five active HOPE SF developments, which include Sunnydale, Potrero, Westside Courts, and Alice Griffith. HOPE SF is an initiative that is to transform existing public housing communities into thriving, mixed income neighborhood by not only building quality housing and infrastructure and creating sustainable mixed income communities, but also improving social and economic outcomes for the existing public housing residents by offering them the services and resources needed to enhance their lives. In total, the HOPE SF communities are anticipated to grow from 2,000 homes today to 5,000 homes. They will serve a range of critical housing needs in San Francisco—from affordable rental housing to new for-sale housing opportunities for middle-class families.

HOPE SF’s goal is to ensure that Hunters View and the larger Bayview-Hunters Point community residents benefit from the job opportunities associated with the Hunters View revitalization process. This commitment was evident in the recently completed demolition phase. In the demolition phase, 40% of the workforce hours and 30% of the workers during the demolition phase were residents of the Bayview-Hunters Point community. This strong commitment to hiring residents will continue throughout the entire construction process.

Already underway, Hunters View is the pilot project for HOPE SF. The first phase of Hunters View will also include the construction of 107 affordable rental apartments that begin the process of replacing all 267 public housing apartments and creating new affordable housing as well. As a pilot project for the new LEED Neighborhood Development rating system, Hunters View sets new standards for neighborhood sustainability and accessibility. The development will be more than sustainable buildings; it will become a sustainable community. Incorporating San Francisco’s ground-breaking Green Building Ordinance, Hunters View achieves previously unprecedented levels of community sustainability in San Francisco resulting in improved energy efficiency, recycling, air quality, and accessibility throughout the neighborhood. With these key investments, HOPE SF will inject nearly $75 million of capital investment into the local economy which began in October 2010 and continues through early 2012.