Waiting for Years to Get a Home!!

root - Posted on 11 February 2002

Elders protest for NIMBYISM to stop and an affordable senior housing project to be built. Unanimous yes vote reached!!!

by Redelia Luna and Lisa Gray-Garcia/PoorNewsNetwork

"If you want housing by the time you get to our age—you need to support this project," said Delbert Scott as he led a cheering crowd of elders and their supporters. The crowd, from the Senior Housing Action Collective (SHAC) and Senior Action Network (SAN), rallied on the steps of City Hall before entering the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency’s Commission meeting on Tuesday, December 11th.

SHAC and SAN were there to demand that the Redevelopment Commission move forward with an 85-unit senior affordable housing project to be built by TODCO on a parking lot on an existent public housing site, Clementina Towers. The Housing Authority and the Mayor’s Office on Housing already approved the project. Unfortunately, that's when our problems began.

As a low-income elder who lives in another TODCO building, I enjoy a roof over my head as well as social activities that allow all of the tenants to know each other and support each other. This was not available to me at my last residence.

This project by TODCO faced a classic display of NIMBYISM. The neighbors, several of whom are live/work tenants and some residents of Clementina Towers were opposing the project because they said they feared construction disturbance, the loss of parking and open space as well as the fact that affordable housing could add to neighborhood security issues.

TODCO and the Housing Authority met with Clementina Towers residents for the last three and a half years to answer questions and satisfy concerns. All existing parking will be replaced on-site and the open space will be improved as requirement for building the new site. The contractor will abide by all laws as well as take extra steps to avoid construction noise and disturbance. We also met with neighbors to show how the projects' design addresses their concerns over security.

In the end we got a unanimous yes vote from the Commission to proceed with the project and I hope that as it progresses the neighbors remember that this whole thing is just about providing housing for poor elders, who like myself will not be housed, will not be sheltered, and will not be safe for the many winters to come if this building is not built.


Waiting for Years to get a Home....

A Poem From the Heart of an elder TODCO resident

By Gordiana S.Leduna

Lucky are the residents of

Clementina Towers

Living in the comfort of their homes..

sleeping peacefully

on cold nights....

May they have compassion for seniors who have been

waiting for years to get a home…

a shelter from rain,

heat of sun, and chilly wind.

Many will get sick, some will die

now that winter is here.

May the residents of Clementina Towers open their hearts

to let TODCO build its affordable senior housing without

delay to ease misery and pain of our homeless senior

brothers and sisters.

The residents will enjoy benefits of

TODCO'S projects

grounds and security of Clementina

Towers will be improved;

resident social services will be

available and plentiful.

I am a resident of Mendelsohn House, a TODCO building.

I've been enjoying benefits not provided in my old residence,

The 150 Franklin. We didn't have a manager's meeting.

We never had a chance of knowing each other.

There were no social activities. A friend told me, "You are
lucky to live in a TODCO building" as she saw painters
painting Mendelsohn House she said, "I live in a senior house
for years and it is never repainted."

TODCO's 85 units of affordable senior housing are a

Please let TODCO build them now. We need

more affordable senior housing to house many seniors

on the Housing Authority's waiting list.

Construction always brings noise and disturbance

but this is also progress.

It means our city

is moving forward.

We all benefit.


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