From Privatization to Reparations

Tiny - Posted on 07 September 2015

Tiny/Lisa Gray-Garcia

“They have a date next month for the movers to come and take us somewhere, but we don’t  even know where that somewhere is,” I was on the phone with a disabled elder resident of 939 Eddy, one of 14 San Francisco buildings recently non-profitized ( aka Privatized) under the new HUD public housing dismantlement program called RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration). RAD is the newest in a long line of multi-billion dollar poverty industry ponzee schemes aimed at gentrifying public housing and leaving the poorest of the poor with nowhere to live.

In San Francisco like almost every city in the US- the pyramid scheme of public to private housing which has been happening since the 1990's with (No) Hope VI and has culminated in the final solution of RAD, has been enabled by the perfect storm aka "excuse" of Public Housing Authority's intentional neglect causing broken elevators, bedbugs, broken toilets, doors, windows, hinges, no plumbing, electrical, etc, while at the same time, discovered by fellow poverty skolaz at Western Regional Advocacy Project, HUD and the endless stream of poor people bating poltricksters leeches and strips public housing budgets and section 8 programs by the millions every year. 

Yet through-out the multiple hand-throwing up sessions by HUD and public Housing Authority departments across the nation, always resulting in statements like, "We have no money to make repairs"  no-one ever questions the ways in which these “problems” are all exactly alike- how from city to city, from State to state the very low-income, no-income, poorest of the poor families, elders and youth whose families have lived in these buildings for generations, whose lives and bodies have been used, exploited and enslaved to build this stolen indigenous land I call amerikkklan, who have crossed false borders and endured US fueled wars across mama earth only to arrive here to work for the rich and wealthy and whose lives and struggles caused by the centuries of exploitation  end up being used for grant applications and philathro-pimps to launch more jobs in the poverty industry, are the ones left to struggle with extremely dangerous habitability issues in buildings that were supposedly set up to safely house us.

“There is big money to be made off non-profit housing contracts, thats why the non-profits and the politicians came together to dream this RAD scheme up together in 2000,” An elder, disabled poverty skola at POOR Magazine who is living in poor people, non-profiteered housing said shaking his head, “Everyone gets paid and we poor folks get less housing or no housing at all,”

Before a sneaky proposal entitled "housing bonds" appeared before the SF board of Supervisors in April of 2015 to approve the "renovation" of 14 buildings enabled by Mayors office of housing and Housing Authority ponzee scheme of allocating millions of dollars to non-profits organizations to "manage and "fix up" these buildings while more money went to other non-profits to advocate for the tenants who would be "relocated" by RAD, youth and adult poverty skolaz at Deecolonize Academy and POOR Magazine made a direct plea to San Francisco Board supervisors to vote no on the approval of this RAD lie. We, the evicted, the privatized, the gentrified and the poverty pimped families and adults would be the the first ones "relocated" ( read Evicted) if RAD went through. We were able to slow it down a little and for that we felt proud, but in the end the poltrickster die was cast, everyone except Supervisors John Avalos and David Campos approved the bonds and the displacement train was on the tracks and the non-profit and for profit tab started adding up.
As early as September of 2013 when the first lie of RAD began to filter out of the backroom deals and handshakes of Ed Lie, his handlers and enablers, we recieved a tip to go to a so-called open meeting at the Housing Authority where they were talking about it as though it was a done deal. At this point POOR Magazine launched an extensive investigation into what RAD really was, we fought for a single mama and her Suns struggling with a evil cocktail of racial profiling, HUD's One strike rule, shady Po'Lice and RAD-ified buildings.whose family was eventually scattered to houselessness
Not only is the poverty industry making money but the lie of "affordability" comes into play. After its RAD-ified, each building becomes "mixed-income" code for open to middle-class, owning class, tech-gentrifyers, which is, just like No Hope VI, the real point of moving us out to nowhere like the elders in 939 Eddy, so that more market rate housing becomes available for the endless stream of well-paid gentry flooding into urban cities from Baltimore to Oakland to Los Angeles, while us poor folks get pushed to the poor people suburbs where we lose our communities, our neighbors, our support systems, our families, our jobs, our lives.One of the few conscious legislators who stood up to this lie was Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters who called it for the eradication scheme it is.
The most recent designer of this last act of public housing destruction is HUD secretary Julian Castro who dreamt up the RAD program.  Launched in 2013, the RAD will hand over 60,000 units of public housing to private management by 2015. RAD began in five cities across the US as a "demonstration" and has now been quietly moving across the US to un-house us all..

To unpack the pyramid scheme of this  theft  one only need to look at the billions being made by everyone .From the stock market traders who trade the mortgages for the public housing buildings on the stock exchange to the banksters who financed their contracts to the so-called non-profit housing developers who are getting million dollar contracts to repair and manage the units to non-profit advocates getting contracts to “protect us” from the non-profit housing developers malfesance and thousands of builders, contractors and social workers and poltricksters in the middle. Everyone is getting paid. Everyone, except us poor people. From Baltimore to LA literally thousands of people have faced evictions  500 evictions at a time hitting newly “managed” privatized, sold, pimped and played public housing buildings, or the more user-friendly , post- (No) Hope IV lie of “relocation with guaranteed right to returns, (Right?0 there are so many lies and so many peoples who will be permanently un-housed behind this scheme, i am literally terrified for all of us. .

So why aren’t the tenants, the residents, the poor peoples, the African peoples, Peoples of color ever offered these stolen millions to self-dermine our own lives?

“Oh they can’t manage their own property , they are too caught up in drugs, or family struggles,” said one non-profiteer “advocate” to me when i asked him why us poor residents weren’t offered the chance to the equity in these buildings or to manage our own buildings we have been living in for years? The paternalistic tone of oh the poor people can’t do for themselves is enough to make you wretch, or slap someone And the saddest part of all of this is so many of us poor people believe the lies they tell us about what we can’t do. We have heard these stories of our "ineptitude" for so many generations they start to sound like fact. and anyone who speaks of self-determination is considered a crazy radical, a nut, or an odd ball.

And no wonder the paternalistic- they can’t do for-self theme always comes into play, there is way too much  money to be made by our scarcity model, white supremacist crafted “failures” - there is a multi-billion dollar hustle on our broken backs- from the poverty industry building jail-like shelters, to the non-profiteers making grants to “help” us, feed us, clothe us, the private and government Po’Lice harassing, arresting, incarcerating or killing us and Akkkademia funding endless research studies to “survey” us ,  study us and write about us without us. Its just an ongoing stream of money made on us never getting out from under their boot. 

From New Orleans to New Hampshire we are losing our last acre and our one remaining mule..

From Honduras to Brazil the privatization scheme is the order of the day, As we export this winning business model of privatizing, policing, incarcerating and killing across mama Earth, everyone gets on the band wagon, in Honduras, its taken up a notch with entire cities being privatized
As apocalyptic is this all seems and as scared as it makes us poor folks and as many times as the non-profiteers claim it will be ok and we have the right to return and as many useless, dismantled section 8 certificates as we are handed like .99 lottery tickets, don't be fooled family, the private prisons and private security forces are being built and readied to handle our huddling, houseless masses. And we truly must rise up.
We have done it at POOR Magazine and we arent special. We are just a bunch of determined, refuse to be infiltrated landless, evicted, houseless, disabled, criminalized, incarcerated, borderd, angry, take no more ish mamaz, aunties, daddys, uncles, brothers , suns and daughters who refuse to believe the lies told about us, and the chains waiing for us. We listen carefully to our many nationed ancestors and refuse to give up on the dreams  and manifestations of Move Africa, Shackdwellers Union in South Africa, Landless Peoples Movement in Brazil and the Zapatistas in Chiapas. So this is possible. All that needs to happen is people need to start telling the truth.
EMERGENCY Solutions: Organize, Legalize and Activate to Demand our Equity
So what will happen to us 1.2 million elders, youth and families across the nation living in soon to be privatized public housing buildings? There are really only two things that we can do. Firstly like our sisters and brothers sheroes from the Charlottesville, Virgina Public Housing Association of Residents who organized and literally all stood up to their local Housing Authority and said, No, just NO to the lie of RAD and remain un-RAD-IFIED to this day, we can organize here, but people have to be willing to stop being coaxed, paid off or scared into complacense. We Po' folks in resistance at POOR Magazine are willing to help, we created a 10 point plan for organizing your own buildings and will assist you in this as we have already been offerring since last year. Another option for public housing tenants, is what we have been demanding since 2013, give us back our equity, the equity being bought, sold, and traded on the open market which includes everyone but us, so we can practice our own self-determination. For us generationally stolen from poorest of the poor public housing tenants this is Reparations. Our time and lives and generations in these buildings is equity This is why its Never considered  To enact this notion of equity justice we ask again, for a conscious, un-pimped, non- paternailstic law firm to please stand up and represent folks to get our rightful equity
"We are just worried that the many bedridden elders here will agree to what they are pushing on us and end up with nowhere to go," the elder from the 939 Eddy building managed by Tenderloin Neighborhood Housing Clinic concluded softly to us.


Sign-up for POOR email!