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The latest news and announcements from Mayor Lee

News Review
Mayor Lee Announces Funding for Critical Elevator Modernization & Repairs at San Francisco Public Housing
$5.4 Million in Emergency Funding for Elevator Repairs at Nine Public Housing Sites to Improve Quality of Life for Residents
Posted Date: 4/17/2014
Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced $5.4 million in City funding for critical elevator modernization and repairs at nine select San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) properties.

“All residents in public housing deserve clean, safe and quality housing,” said Mayor Lee. “Our Re-Envisioning Plan for public housing in San Francisco paves the way for the preservation, rehabilitation and long-term affordability of thousands of existing units for very low-income people. But in the short term, we must make the critical repairs necessary to ensure elevators are reliable and do not disrupt the lives of our seniors and disabled public housing residents.”

“From the moment I started as Supervisor, I have made it clear that public housing is vitally important to me,” said Supervisor London Breed.  “I am thankful we have finally secured funding for badly-needed elevator repairs, and I will continue working with Mayor Lee to fund additional needs.  Today is the beginning of a larger effort to ensure that public housing remains a priority in San Francisco, and that public housing residents enjoy a measure of safety and comfort in their homes.”

Local funding through the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development will help counteract chronic underfunding for capital repairs that has resulted in serious deferred maintenance needs for public housing authorities across the country. Recent elevator break-downs at San Francisco public housing properties have made living conditions difficult for many vulnerable tenants. With the Mayor’s emergency funding in place, SFHA can quickly address the most critical elevator needs and restore proper access to tenants’ homes.   

Nine SFHA properties have been identified as highest priority:
•    1880 Pine Street
•    430 Turk Street
•    1250 Turk Street (Rosa Parks)
•    838 Pacific Street (Ping Yuen North)
•    320/330 Clementina
•    666 Ellis
•    990 Pacific
•    1750 McAllister
•    1760 Bush Street

This emergency funding for SFHA comes as the City continues the re-envisioning of the San Francisco Housing Authority with the renovation and long-term preservation of public housing in San Francisco. The City was selected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to participate in a federal Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program that will help revitalize public housing units.  

“This is desperately needed. This especially impacts our disabled tenants and our frail elders,” said Citywide Council of Senior and Disabled Tenant Association President Beverly Saba. “We live in high rise towers. We need working reliable elevators to go to the doctor’s office, to meet with our families, to leave our apartments. This will help liberate our residents to be able to live their lives on their own terms. We greatly appreciate the work of the Housing Authority staff – especially Executive Director Barbara Smith – in making this happen and to the Mayor and his staff for their continued support and attention to our needs.”

On January 6, 2014, HUD provided Commitments to Enter into a Housing Assistance Payments Contract (CHAPs) for 21 individual SFHA projects as well as a Portfolio Award Letter for a total of 41 SFHA projects. The CHAPs represent a crucial first step in what will be a three-year process to preserve and rehabilitate existing public housing projects for the purpose of improving residents’ living conditions and ensuring long-term affordability, as recommended in the San Francisco Housing Authority Re-Envisioning Plan (the “Plan”).

The elevator repairs now enabled by the Mayor’s emergency funding are part of the City’s continuing effort to ensure public housing residents live in safe and decent housing.

“We are extremely grateful for this investment from the Mayor’s Office that will address critical needs on behalf of the senior and disabled residents at these properties which include 1,273 homes across our City,” said SFHA Commission President Joaquín Torres. “This allows us to better serve our residents with improved living conditions and elevators that work.”