The city loan was supposed to help repair SF public housing where London Breed grew up. Does he have?



Two months after San Francisco began emergency repairs to a dilapidated public housing complex, gradual progress has been made, although some tenants who have taken legal action over conditions say they have yet seen no improvement.

“Conditions at Plaza East and in public housing in San Francisco and across the country have not been what they should be, and tenants have suffered,” said Preston, a former rights lawyer. tenants. “There has been some progress on the conditions, but there is clearly a lot more to be done. “

At Plaza East, 183 of the 193 units needed emergency repairs, said Pauline Blackwell, vice president of affordable housing developer McCormack Baron Salazar in the Bay Area, who managed the property until last month. Since the end of May, repair work has started in 96 units and has been completed in 27, she said.

Twelve percent of the total work was completed last Friday, said Lydia Ely of the mayor’s office for housing and community development that granted the loan. Only nine of the completed units were occupied last week.

The job is “going very well,” Ely said, despite nationwide delays in obtaining devices. The deadline for completion is March 2022.

Problems persist, however: the building inspection department reported 21 active complaints about the property on Thursday. Five notices of violation are pending, said senior housing inspector Luis Barahona.

The tenant group – who sued for conditions such as pests, mold, broken appliances and lack of security – said little had changed. Dennis Williams said none of the plaintiffs had received any repairs except for one woman who had a bedbug infested carpet replaced on her stairs, but not in the rest of the apartment.

“Everything is always the same,” said tenant Michael Matlock. This includes the sewage discharged into his yard. His wife uses a wheelchair, so the situation is “a bit difficult for us,” he said.

Yolanda Marshall said her washer, dryer, radiators and lights were still out of order.

“Nothing is working here,” she said. “Nothing is done.”

Williams and Marshall want a tenant watchdog to monitor how money is spent, direction removed, and building ownership given to tenants, many of whom are black.

Tonia Lediju, executive director of the San Francisco Housing Authority, which oversees the city’s social housing, said Thursday that she was “strongly committed to making sure our families go to a place where they feel safe and secure and where they have a community that feels welcome and is livable.

Adhi Nagraj, senior vice president of development at McCormack Baron Salazar in the Bay Area, could not comment on the lawsuit against the company. He attributed the deferred maintenance to federal underfunding and said pandemic lockdown increased costs by $ 500,000 per year.

Local firm John Stewart Management took over last month, although McCormack Baron Salazar is still overseeing the repairs. A majority of the city’s loan – $ 2.5 million – will be used to repair fire alarms, sewers, electrical work and appliance replacement. The remaining $ 198,000 will be used to provide social services.

The money will only dent and stabilize the property, but without substantial rehabilitation the problems will come back again, Preston told The Chronicle. The city plans to rebuild the property into affordable mixed-income housing, but withdrew a request to the federal government to demolish it earlier this year.

Preston said Thursday that approval would have been given to the same company that managed the site as it deteriorated with the redevelopment. Any future decisions would have to be made by the tenants, he said, which Nagraj claimed.

“The future of Plaza East is in the hands of the tenants,” he said.

Mallory Moench is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: Twitter: @mallorymoench



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