How progressives’ grand plans for subsidized housing have harmed African Americans
In the fall of 2006, then-mayor of the San Francisco Mission District Ed Lee announced that he had been contacted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to look into subsidized housing for the local African American population.
“I am going to be able to help people in this community that we have been unable to assist previously,” Lee said. “I can do this by expanding and renovating existing projects.”
In his letter, Lee cited the fact that many of the residents of the Mission District who were being displaced by the construction of low-income housing were African American and were concerned about the health and well-being of their people after displacement.
In the early morning of October 22, Mayor Lee’s letter was leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle. The next day, the Chronicle published a front-page story on the housing projects. The next day, then-HUD Secretary Sheryl Sandberg called Lee to apologize on his behalf for the leak, which she said had been a mistake.
Lee was forced to delay his announcement on the “Mission Bay Project” until after the public health crisis of the Bay Area’s homeless people had been resolved by a federal emergency declaration.
The controversy was a turning point in the housing debate in the Mission.
This article is the second in a series of four highlighting the impact of progressive policies in San Francisco’s Mission District. Read the first and third here.
After the controversy over the housing projects in the Mission District, Lee took on the role of hero, standing by his word. The project was completed in 2007, and its residents were able to obtain permanent housing in the neighborhood.
The housing plan Lee introduced during his tenure as mayor, called for building 300 new units of low-income housing in the area, and