Cities across the country are battling the deterioration of their once-thriving communities.
In San Francisco different programs have been implemented to improve the living environment including HOPE SF.
HOPE SF is not just about rebuilding public housing. The program borrows from the most successful national models to focus on revitalizing the whole community, not just on constructing new buildings. HOPE SF will create opportunities to transform residents’ lives, not just their homes, by investing in the schools, services, safety, and support needed for success.
HOPE SF’s first project was the renovation of Hunter’s View. It is a 267-unit public housing project built in 1956. The renovation occurred in 2005.
Currently, as part of HOPE SF, the Bayview/Hunters Point Revitalization Program is underway. It began more than a decade ago with a ten-year plan devised between San Francisco’s Public Library and the Department of Public Works. It is a multi-million dollar plan to renovate every branch of the library in the city and is called the Branch Library Improvement Program.
The plan is to increase disability access and conformance with current codes. So far 22 library branches have been completed with Bayview and then North Beach being the last to be completed in the next couple of years.
Bayview Branch Library is nearing completion. It has been closed since April 2011 and is expected to reopen January 2013. Services have been temporarily moved to the local YMCA.
The renovation includes the use of solar hot water and solar electricity. The Bayview Branch is only one of five public housing buildings in low-income areas in San Francisco to receive a complete makeover.
New efforts to improve the quality of life for low-income residents include the current restoration and installation of clean, solar energy at the Bayview Branch Library as well as energy conservation through solar thermal (solar hot water) and solar electricity (solar PV) currently being installed on five public housing buildings in the neighborhood.
The program is able to use Proposition D money that was voted for in 2007 and additional funds for equipment, furniture and fixtures from Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. The total costs are estimated to be $219 million.
San Francisco is just one city that is implementing tax-payers’ money into projects that are truly beneficial to people who live there. The renovation of public housing and other projects such as public library branches is encouraging to our cities’ future and is necessary to improve the quality of life for residents in those locations.