Photo by Daniel Postaer. Hunters View basketball courts before demolition of the old buildings.

HOPE SF is an ambitious cross-sector initiative to transform San Francisco’s most distressed public housing sites into vibrant and healthy communities.

It began with a study. In 2005, the Human Services Agency released an analysis of at-risk families known as the “Seven Street Corners Study.” The study came out of an effort to create a consolidated youth database with data from the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. When the data was merged and mapped, it revealed that most of these children lived within walking distance of just seven street corners in the city — street corners that overlapped with obsolete public housing sites where families were living geographically, socially, and economically cut off from San Francisco’s robust resources.

In response, Mayor Gavin Newsom set a bold vision of rebuilding dilapidated public housing developments into thriving mixed-income communities that integrated holistic family services, high quality schools, new businesses, public transportation, and green buildings. HOPE SF drew on more than 15 years of learning from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) HOPE VI housing revitalization program. However, unlike the HUD projects in which only a small percentage of residents returned to redeveloped housing sites, San Francisco committed to the principle that families would not be displaced.

In 2007, the mayor and Board of Supervisors secured $95 million in local bond funding, an amount that eclipsed the nationwide HOPE VI funding for that year, to launch HOPE SF. From the beginning, the initiative brought together expertise from the public, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors, working together to improve the lives of public housing residents and break the cycle of poverty.

Built for shipyard workers 70 years ago, four isolated housing sites are being completely reimagined with new homes, new streets, and holistic services for families.

Photo by Bashir Anastas. New apartments at Hunters View.

Today, the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Foundation, and Enterprise Community Partners collaborate on HOPE SF with the involvement of many organizations and longtime residents.

HOPE SF will rebuild four housing developments in three southeastern San Francisco neighborhoods: Hunters View and Alice Griffith in the Bayview, Potrero Terrace and Annex in Potrero Hill, and Sunnydale-Velasco in Visitacion Valley. Located in isolated and mostly undeveloped areas, these sites were originally built to temporarily house shipyard workers during and after World War II.

By tripling density, HOPE SF will replace 1,900 public housing units one-for-one and add low-income and market-rate units, ultimately building more than 5,300 homes at multiple levels of affordability. Construction is phased so that residents can remain on site and take part in the transformation of their communities.

Join us in building a better future for thousands of San Francisco families.

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Photo by Halona Photography/Rhea Bailey. Drumming circle in Sunnydale.