RAD & Gentrifukation in San Francisco

admin_general - Posted on 14 May 2021

by Jack Minel


2009 was the year my mom and I were no longer homeless in San Francisco, due to the tenacity of my mother, Linda Montoya, and pure luck. My mom spent her efforts to file applications when I was homeless with her in a shelter, known as the Hamilton. She filed a section 8 paper, which allowed certain low-income families — when certified by local house ambassadors — to be allowed to rent a private property.

My mom and I were certainly gifted by fate. We were able to shelter before the new ongoing wave of gentrification that flooded the city in a matter of years. Since it was 2009, there were many people moving out of their low-income housing units as well as coming in to renovate. Our only form of income at the time was the Social Security check she would get, which I assume was nearly 900$, and our rent was 200$ a month from the beginning, plus electricity, etc.

Fast Forward 12 years later, and now I live on 25 Northridge Road, located on the southern eastern end of San Francisco. The hills are steep, and they make bones brittle faster than you mush styrofoam packaging. My mom and I are familiar with the terrain which we live upon. The hills are steep and my mother is growing older in age, getting into her 50’s now. Even I have a hard time getting up the stairs during grocery runs to the store.

Even though these things are tough, to stand aside and let the threat of gentrification continue is something I can't do. I have gone through most of the phases of the RAD reconstruction of my neighborhood of Hunter’s Point, and with some quick fact checking, I also see there are many other chapters of buying low-income housing for the purpose of conversions.

The conversion of the houses around me are nice, but I can't help but get the feeling this is just the calm before the storm. San Francisco is going through a change, from the grassroots culture it’s known for, turning and transforming into a city of technology as well as a high influx of foreign residency, known as the “techies.”

Many friends and families have been drowned out with gentrification and swept from their homes. And I fear that time is coming for my mom and I. Though gaining confidence in a new found perspective, it’s time to speak up and fight against the terror of  gentrification.

But if we can come together we just might have the momentum to sway the odds in the people's favor.  


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