tv SF GovTV Presents SFGTV August 5, 2022 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT
how this side of the city is the same but different. you're watching san francisco rising. today's special guest is monique gray. >> hi. i'm chris mannis and you're watching san francisco rising. the our guest today is marquise gray. he runs out of the office of the mayor in the city and county of san francisco. and he's with us today to talk about the recent progress of
the sunnidale hope sf housing project. welcome to the show. >> good morning. thank you for having me today. >> let's start by talking about the existing residents of sunnydale and their history. >> so sunnydale was built in the 1940s for a workers. it's the largest public housing community west of the mississippi. it's about 50 acres. pretty huge. about 760 single story units one to four bedrooms. >> i understand it's an ambitious rethinking of the residences. can you briefly describe the scope of the program and hope sf's involvement? >> yeah. the work of hope sf is this idea of more than housing. that acknowledging that our public housing community, the levels of violence and poverty that are in these communities
are not by accident. you know, it's our opportunity to address a system issue, you know, that people need more than housing. they need health services. resources. economic investment opportunities, jobs and things of that nature. and so hope sf strives to work with our city systems to better serve our public housing communities. >> so recently, mayor breed and speaker pelosi toured the site to both put focus on a national housing initiative and also to highlight the completion of the first new building. how many units does it contain and when will people start moving in? >> yeah. it was an amazing event. honored to have the secretary here with us as well in our community. it's 167 units. it's about 75% going back to the original families that currently live on site. so the replacement. so i did forget to mention i want to say real quick, the
beauty of hope sf is housing development, new development without displacements or anti-displacement initiatives. so, for example, the building is 167 units. 75% of those units going to families that have lived there in the community for generationings and the other 25% are tax credit units adding to the affordable housing stock here in san francisco and those units are up and running now. they're leasing them as we speak. people are picking their units each week until they're filled up. >> so was this particular building put on a new plot of land or did people have to move out so it could be constructed? >> that's a good question. our first building was vacant which you may have saw across the street from this building and then this plot of land is the way we kind of do it, we do it in phases. once one goes in, we're able to move families into the new unit and where they previously were
occupying, able to demolish old buildings to build the new. so this area had some older units that were demolished. >> it's impressive that construction has been able to continue during the covid-19 pandemic. can you talk about some of the challenges that needed to be overcome and how the community has managed during the crisis? >> that's a great question. you know, in san francisco, if i understand it correctly, i could be wrong, i believe housing was an essential service. the mayor made a strong commitment early on in the pandemic that we would continue to build housing as housing has been a critical issue in our city. so the housing part hasn't impacted us too much. 67 units have been going on its current time line. the bigger challenge for us was showing the families in our communities, low income
families had the resources we need to survive the pandemic. many of our families didn't have the luxury of working from home, working in the zone and things of that nature. making sure they had access to covid testing and things of that nature. so i want to give a big shout out to our resident leaders, our service providers across all four sites. for those that don't know, hope sf is four sites. sunnydale is one of the four sites. and so across those four sites, the most critical thing was making sure folks in these neighborhoods which have historically have been disconnected from resources have the things that they need to remain healthy, to, you know, survive the pandemic as we all had to survive the pandemic and we did pretty well. we were able to bring back scenes and covid testing on site. food distribution was happening all throughout the week.
wellness services and things of that nature were all happening on site thanks to our resident leaders and our service providers across the sites. >> so, finally, when could we expect the next set of residents to be ready? despite -- i guess we just said covid doesn't have an impact on the schedule. when will the next residences be ready? >> yeah. things are rolling. we have block a3 and block b3 to the building we were referring to earlier. and things are on pace. things are going really well. so we're looking at starting construction spring of 2022 and that will be 170 units and the goal is to have that lease up around 2024. >> well, thank you so much. i really appreciate you coming on the show, mr. gray. thank you for giving us the time today. >> thank you, chris, and i really appreciate your time as well. >> and that's it with this
episode. you've been watching san francisco rising for sfgov tv i'm chris manners. thanks so much for watching. >> you're watching san francisco rising with chris manors. today's special guest is mary chu. >> hi. i'm chris manors, and you're rising on san francisco rising. the show that's focused on rebuilding, reimagining, and restarting our city. our guest today is mary chu, and she's here to talk with us about art and the san francisco art commission. well come, miss chu. >> thanks for having me. >> it's great to have you. let's talk about art in the
city and how art installations are funded. >> the arts committee was funded in 1932 and support civic review, design investments and art galleries. projects we have are funded by the city's art enrichment ordinance which provides 2% of construction costs for public art. >> so art is tied to construction. there's been a great deal in the southwest of the city. can you talk about some of the projects there? >> sure. our city has some exciting projected in the
bayview-hunters point coming up. one artist created a photo collage. in the picture pavilion, one artist formed a collage of her one-year residency coming together with residents, and anchoring the new center is a landmark bronze sculpture, inspired by traditional ivory coast currency which the artists significantly enlarges to mark that it's a predominantly african american community in bayview hunters
point. >> are there any art installations around town that uses light as a medium? >> yes. the first is on van ness between o'farrell and geary. it's funded with the m.t.a.s van ness geary street project. another project is for the central subway. it is one of ten artworks commissioned for the new line. it's over 650 feet long, consists of 550 l.e.d. panels between the powell street station and the union street station. it's called lucy in the sky, and the lights are patterned with unique sequences so that commuters can experience a
unique pattern each time they pass through. >> perfect. what about the early day sculpture that was removed from the civic center? >> this is a question that cities have been grappling with nationwide. following the removal of early days in 2018, there was a toppling of statues in golden gate park as well as the removal of the christopher columbus statue. we are partnering with the parks department as well as the community to engage with the public to develop guidelines to evaluate the existing monuments and memorials in the civic arts collection and evaluate the removal of a monument or statue
but also installing new ones. >> finally, it seems like the weather might be nice this weekend. if i fancy taking a walk and seeing some outdoor art, where would you suggest i go? >> well, i would suggest the embarcadero. this work was commissioned with funds from the fire station 35. this suggests the bow of a boat and the glass panel surrounding the structure depict the history of fireboats in the bay area. >> and where can i go from there? >> then, i would walk up to the justin herman plaza to check out the work of the art vendors. then check out the monuments
like the mechanics monument. also, be sure to check out the poster series, installed in bus kiosks along market street, which features four artists each year. >> well, thank you. i appreciate you coming on the show, miss chu. thank you for your time today. >> thank you, chris. >> that's it for this episode. we'll be back with another show >> you are watching san francisco rising. a special guest today. >> i am chris and you are watching san francisco rising. focused on rebuilding and reimagining our city. our guest is the director of financial justice in the san francisco office of treasure to
talk about how the city has taken a national lead in this effort and how the program is comlishing the goals. welcome to the show. >> thanks so much for having me. >> thank you for being here. can we start by talking about the financial justice project in a broad sense. when did the initiative start and what is the intent? >> sure. it launched in 2016. since then we take a hard look at fines, fees, tickets, financial penalties hitting people with low incomes and especially people of color really hard. it is our job to assess and reform these fines and fees. >> do you have any comments for people financially stressed? >> yes. the financial justice project was started in response pop community outcry about the heavy
toll of fines and fees. when people struggling face an unexpected penalty beyond ability to pay they face a bigger punishment than originally intended. a spiral of consequences set in. a small problem grows bigger. for example the traffic ticket this is california are hundreds of dollars, most expensive in the nation. a few years back we heard tens of thousands in san francisco had driver's licenses suspended not for dangerous driving but because they couldn't afford to pay traffic tickets or miss traffic court date. if they lose the license they have a hard time keeping their job and lose it. that is confirmed by research. we make it much harder for people to pay or meet financial obligations. it is way too extreme of penalty for the crime of not being able to pay. we were also hearing about
thousands of people who were getting cars towed. they couldn't pay $500 to get them back and were losing their cars. at the time we hand people a bill when they got out of jail to pay thousands in fees we charged up to $35 per day to rent electronic ankle monitor, $1,800 upfront to pay for three years of monthly $50 probation fees. people getting out of jail can't pay these. they need to get back on their feet. we weren't collecting much on them. it wasn't clear what we were accomplishing other than a world of pain on people. we were charging mothers and grandmothers hundreds of dollars in phone call fee to accept calls from the san francisco jail. we heard from black and brown women struggling to make
terrible choices do. i pay rent or accept this call from my incarcerated son. the list goes on and on. so much of this looked like lose-lose for government and people. these penalties were high pain, hitting people hard, low gain. not bringing in much revenue. there had to be a better way. >> it is important not to punish people financially there. are issues to address. >> sure. there are three core principles that drive our work. first, we believe we should be able to hold people accountable without putting them in financial distress. second you should not pay a bigger penalty because your wallet is thinner. $300 hits doctors and daycare workers differently.
they can get in a tailspin, they lose the license. we dig them in a hole they can't get out of. these need to be proportioned to people's incomes. third. we should not balance the budget on the backs of the poorest people in the city. >> financial justice project was launched in 2016. can you talk about the accomplishments? >> sure sometimes it is to base a fine on the ability to pay. consequences proportional to the offense and the person. other times if the fee's job is to recoupe costs primarily on low-income people. we recommend elimination. other times we recommend a different accountability that does not require a money payment. here are a few examples. we have implemented many sliding
scale discounts for low-income people who get towed or have parking tickets they cannot afford. you pay a penalty according to income. people with low incomes pay less. we also became the first city in the nation to stop suspending people's licenses when they could not pay traffic tickets. we focused on ways to make it easier for people to pay through payment plans, sliding discounts and eliminating add on fees to jack up prices of tickets. this reform is the law of the land in california. it has spread to 23 other states. we also stopped handing people a bill when they get out of jail and eliminated fees charged to people in criminal justice system. they have been punished in a lot of ways. gone to jail, under supervision, the collection rate on the fees was so low we weren't bringing
in much revenue. the probation fee collection rate was 9%. this reform has become law from california and is spreading to other states. we made all calls from jail free. the more incarcerated people are in touch with families the better they do when they get out. it was penny wise and pound foolish. now phone calls are free. incarcerated people spend 80% more time in touch where families. that means they will do better when they get out. we eliminated fines for overdue library books. research shows were locking low income and people of color out of libraries. there are better ways to get people to return books, e-mail reminders or automatically renew if there is no one in line for it. this has spread to other cities
that eliminated overdue library fines. these hold people accountable but not in financial distress can work better for government. local government can spend more to collect the fees than they bring in. when you proportion the fine with income they pay more readily. this impact can go down and revenues can go up. >> i know there is an initial group that joined the project. they had a boot camp to introduce the program to large audience. is this gaining traction across the country? >> yes 10 cities were selected to launch the fines for fee justice. they adopted various reforms like we did in san francisco. as you mentioned we just hosted a boot camp in phoenix, arizona.
teams of judges and mayors came from 50 cities to learn how to implement reforms like we have in san francisco. there is a growing realization the penalties are blunt instruments with all kinds of unintended consequences. it is the job of every public servant to find a better way. governance should equalize opportunity not drive inequality. >> quite right. thank you so much. i really appreciate you coming on the show. thank you for your time today. >> thank you, chris. >> that is it for this episode. we will be back shortly. you are watching san francisco rising. thanks for watching. >> after my fire in my apartment and losing everything, the red cross gave us a list of agencies
in the city to reach out to and i signed up for the below-market rate program. i got my certificate and started applying and won the housing lottery. [♪♪♪] >> the current lottery program began in 2016. but there have been lot rows that have happened for affordable housing in the city for much longer than that. it was -- there was no standard practice. for non-profit organizations that were providing affordable housing with low in the city, they all did their lotteries on their own. private developers that include in their buildings affordable units, those are the city we've been monitoring for some time since 1992. we did it with something like
this. where people were given circus tickets. we game into 291st century in 2016 and started doing electronic lotteries. at the same time, we started electronic applications systems. called dalia. the lottery is completely free. you can apply two ways. you can submit a paper application, which you can download from the listing itself. if you apply online, it will take five minutes. you can make it easier creating an account. to get to dalia, you log on to housing.sfgov.org. >> i have lived in san francisco for almost 42 years. i was born here in the hayes valley. >> i applied for the san francisco affordable housing lottery three times.
>> since 2016, we've had about 265 electronic lotteries and almost 2,000 people have got their home through the lottery system. if you go into the listing, you can actually just press lottery results and you put in your lottery number and it will tell you exactly how you ranked. >> for some people, signing up for it was going to be a challenge. there is a digital divide here and especially when you are trying to help low and very low income people. so we began providing digital assistance for folks to go in and get help. >> along with the income and the residency requirements, we also required someone who is trying to buy the home to be a first time home buyer and there's also an educational component that
consists of an orientation that they need to attend, a first-time home buyer workshop and a one-on-one counseling session with the housing councilor. >> sometimes we have to go through 10 applicants before they shouldn't be discouraged if they have a low lottery number. they still might get a value for an available, affordable housing unit. >> we have a variety of lottery programs. the four that you will most often see are what we call c.o.p., the certificate of preference program, the dthp which is the displaced penance housing preference program. the neighborhood resident housing program and the live worth preference. >> i moved in my new home february 25th and 2019. the neighborhood preference program really helped me achieve
that goal and that dream was with eventually wind up staying in san francisco. >> the next steps, after finding out how well you did in the lottery and especially if you ranked really well you will be contacted by the leasing agent. you have to submit those document and income and asset qualify and you have to pass the credit and rental screening and the background and when you qualify for the unit, you can chose the unit and hopefully sign that lease. all city sponsored affordable housing comes through the system and has an electronic lottery. every week there's a listing on dalia. something that people can apply for. >> it's a bit hard to predict how long it will take for someone to be able to move into a unit. let's say the lottery has happened. several factors go into that and
mainly how many units are in the project, right. and how well you ranked and what preference bucket you were in. >> this particular building was brand new and really this is the one that i wanted out of everything i applied for. in my mind, i was like how am i going to win this? i did and when you get that notice that you won, it's like at first, it's surreal and you don't believe it and it sinks in, yeah, it happened. >> some of our buildings are pretty spectacular. they have key less entry now. they have a court yard where they play movies during the weekends, they have another master kitchen and space where people can throw parties. >> mayor breed has a plan for over 10,000 new units between now and 2025. we will start construction on
about 2,000 new units just in 2020. >> we also have a very big portfolio like over 25,000 units across the city. and life happens to people. people move. so we have a very large number of rerentals and resales of units every year. >> best thing about working for the affordable housing program is that we know that we're making a difference and we actually see that difference on a day-to-day basis. >> being back in the neighborhood i grew up in, it's a wonderful experience. >> it's a long process to get through. well worth it when you get to the other side. i could not be happier. [♪♪♪]
>> okay. we are all waiting for you, mayor. >> it is a real press conference >> you called it. >> you called it. we make it happen. >> okay, thank you all for joining today's prefestival briefing for outside landses with mayor bride i'm allen scott. i'm the cofound and coproducer of the outside lands. we are excited to return to our 14th edition of outside lands back to our normal dates after doing a special halloween edition last year we have a festival planned and can't wait to let all of our guests experience t. no 2 festivals are arc li