Bayview Affordable Housing Initiative Works to Collect Signatures

by Paul Hogarth on January 31, 2008

With the deadline to qualify in a mere four days, affordable housing activists are feverishly working to collect 7,168 signatures to put the Bayview Affordable Housing Initiative on the June ballot. As the Florida-based Lennar Corporation – with active funding from allies in the Newsom Administration – spends a fortune to qualify its Bayview initiative on the same ballot, a rag-tag army led by Supervisor Chris Daly is hoping to force a real dialogue on the future of Bayview-Hunters Point. Do we want another giveaway to Lennar under the auspices of keeping the 49ers in San Francisco, or do we want the new housing that gets built to be affordable for current residents of the neighborhood?

The Bayview Affordable Housing Initiative would mandate that 50% of all housing built by the Lennar Corporation be affordable for those making between 30-80% of the area’s median income. In response to legitimate concerns from residents of the Alice Griffith Housing Project, the initiative would also require a phased rebuild to protect all residents from displacement. Lennar has already indicated they will strongly oppose this initiative.

As of yesterday afternoon, about 3,000 signatures have been collected. “We clearly need a good weekend,” said Daly. “We had a great turnout last weekend, but we’ll need to collect about 4,000-5,000 signatures.” At a campaign kick-off rally last week, about 30 volunteers pledged to turn in 2300 signatures. As of today, only 500 of these have been turned in – which implies that more should be on their way.

Activists will continue to gather signatures until the deadline on February 4th, starting with a morning commute run today in the Mission District and at tomorrow’s Black History Month Celebration on the steps of City Hall. On both days this weekend, activists will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the office of POWER – at 32 Seventh Street in the South-of-Market area. With “all hands on deck,” said Daly, voters can be given a real choice this June about the future of Bayview-Hunters Point.

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