Pictured: A row of front doors and stoops on a city block. Tenants of the Plaza East public housing complex in the Western Addition complain of leaky pipes, pests and mold.

Developer, Housing Authority Reconsider Future for Plaza East

The company that owns and manages the Plaza East public housing complex in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood says it does not currently have a plan to tear down the property. The shift in the firm’s message comes after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development did not approve a $320 million request from the company and the San Francisco Housing Authority, which owns the land, to demolish and rebuild the existing public housing complex and potentially add hundreds of units.

Protesters hold a sign listing demands, in English and Spanish, regarding San Francisco's rent assistance program.

Nonprofit Obstructing Rent Aid for Thousands of San Franciscans

A local group that worked with San Francisco on a public program to allocate rental relief funds is keeping a list of thousands of applicants from city staff, an official confirmed Friday. That has made it impossible to follow up with the applicants and give them additional help.

Q Foundation created the web application tool for rent assistance through San Francisco’s Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

Several street-level apartments, some boarded up, are shown. San Francisco officials have agreed to loan the developer and property manager of the Plaza East housing complex $2.7 million for repairs.

City Approves $2.7 Million Loan to Private Developer to Start Repairs at Plaza East

San Francisco officials have agreed to lend a private developer $2.7 million to make repairs at a public housing complex in the Western Addition.

Last week, the Citywide Affordable Housing Loan Committee, part of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, approved the loan to McCormack Baron Salazar, which owns and manages Plaza East Apartments. For years, residents have lived with leaking pipes, pest infestations and electrical fires.

State’s Rent-Relief Program Neglects Vulnerable Communities, Groups Say

California’s program to alleviate rent debts — and prevent a wave of evictions in July — makes it tough for some of the state’s most vulnerable residents to request financial aid, community groups in San Francisco say. The way the system is designed prevents many people from applying, including those who live in informal housing arrangements, those who do not speak English and those who lack digital proficiency, according to staff at local organizations helping tenants and landlords file applications.

Two front doors to apartments at Plaza East, the one on the right boarded up.

HUD Denies Request to Demolish Plaza East

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development denied an application to raze and rebuild Plaza East Apartments, a 20-year-old public housing complex in the Western Addition, the agency confirmed.

The determination was made on March 30 but not publicly disclosed until Tuesday, when HUD officials were questioned by the Public Press. The move comes three months after the San Francisco Housing Authority submitted a demolition application, with Mayor London Breed’s endorsement.

Chris Block speaks at a podium in front of a projector screen

SF Creates New Office Tasked With Relocating Homeless Hotel Residents

A new city agency, founded in the wake of rising concerns about the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing’s ability to house the city’s homeless population, aims to bring 2,000 people into permanent shelter by the end of the year.

The new Office of Housing Opportunities will be a division of the COVID Command Center, shifting responsibilities away from the Department of Homelessness. Chris Block, formerly the director of the chronic homelessness division at Tipping Point, a nonprofit focused on battling poverty and homelessness, is directing the effort.