On Thursday city housing officials celebrated the opening of phase-one of the rebuilt Hunters View development near Candlestick Park.
San Francisco is renovating some of its toughest housing projects, even as the city's housing agency faces federal scrutiny.
Hunter's View opens as federal officials investigate financial problems at the Housing Authority. The Authority's director, Henry Alvarez, is being sued by employees for alleged discrimination and retaliation.
Mayor Ed Lee says the agency has some serious reforming to do.
"I will continue working with it, but I'm going to challenge everybody to do better, or we'll make the changes necessary to make that going [sic]. Putting more emphasis on where we're going with this and how the management currently at the Housing Authority can do better, that's where I'm going with it," Lee said.
Phase-one of Hunters View currently houses 25 families, mostly from the old project, in a gleaming modern complex with views of the Bay.
The complex is located on Middle Point Road, and is one of five public housing sites in the city slated for redevelopment as part of the HOPE SF initiative, Lee said.
"People are going to want to live here," he said. "They'll no longer see suffering as part of their living environment, but progress going forward."
One of the families that moved into the new units in the past month is that of Alice Gutierrez, who joined her five sons ages 7 to 24 to lead the mayor on a tour of her new unit.
"It's brand new and it's mine, I love everything about the unit," Gutierrez said.
She said her last living space "just wasn't a good environment for my children all around, but over here my kids can grow."
Lee said the old units at the Hunters View site were initially bunkers built for the military.
"They weren't really meant for long-term, dignified, respectful housing that this community deserves," he said.
By this May, the Hunters View complex is expected to have 107 new units, a number expected to grow to 350 over the next four years, according to the mayor's office.
The city has committed $95 million to the HOPE SF program, which also includes projects at the Alice Griffith, Sunnydale, Potrero Terrace and Annex and Westside Courts public housing complexes.
Supervisor Malia Cohen, whose district in the southeast part of San Francisco includes a majority of those sites, said today's celebration is an example of how the city is "building a stronger, more vibrant community."
CONTACT: Mayor's Office of Communications (415) 554-6131