Mayor London Breed, Supervisor Vallie Brown, and Community Leaders Celebrate the Reopening of One of the Oldest Public Housing Developments in San Francisco
Under the RAD program, 135 newly renovated units will better serve residents at Westside Courts
Mayor London N. Breed, Supervisor Vallie Brown, and community leaders today celebrated the grand reopening of Westside Courts, one of the oldest public housing developments in San Francisco and the only public housing development that at the time of its construction was primarily reserved for African-American residents.
The three-story, 135-unit development consists of six buildings at 2501 Sutter Street and was first built in 1943. It is one of 29 properties previously owned by the San Francisco Housing Authority that was renovated under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which allows for a voluntary, permanent conversion of public housing to privately owned, permanently affordable housing. The project is part of the City’s commitment to preserving and revitalizing nearly 3,500 distressed public housing units across San Francisco. To date, more than 2,800 apartments have been renovated under the program.
“Having grown up in the Western Addition, I could not be prouder to see the residents of Westside Courts finally have new, renovated homes,” said Mayor Breed. “This is one of the oldest public housing developments in San Francisco, and the first public housing that was reserved primarily for African-Americans back when much of our public housing was still subject to racial restrictions. Through good times and bad, this community has stuck together and today we celebrate not only the history of Westside Courts, but also its bright future.”
The extensive renovation included the modernization of all 135 apartments with new kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, paint, energy-efficient windows, energy-efficient lighting and new heating systems. Each of the six buildings was reroofed, painted, and the rooftop boilers were replaced. The rehabilitation included new landscaping throughout and provided new community spaces, management offices, social services offices, a computer lab, two laundry rooms (one new, the other renovated), an outdoor gathering space, picnic areas, and a community garden.
“San Francisco’s public housing is one of its greatest assets,” said Supervisor Vallie Brown, “Every dollar invested here in Westside Courts and other public housing is a dollar that’s guaranteed to pay dividends for San Francisco’s future, helping to ensure that this remains a City not just for the rich, but for us all.”
Related California (Related) and Tabernacle Community Development Corporation (TCDC) were selected by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) to complete a comprehensive $44 million rehabilitation.
“The opening of the beautifully renovated Westside Courts is especially exciting given its rich history and important role in the Western Addition. We thank our vital partners Related, TCDC, Bank of America, HUD, San Francisco Housing Authority, and all Westside Courts residents for helping us reach this important milestone,” said Kate Hartley, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.
“The complete rehabilitation of Westside Courts is the latest demonstration of how vitally important goals for San Francisco and the Bay Area can be achieved through collaborative and successful public-private partnerships,” said Bill Witte, Chairman and CEO of Related California. “It’s an honor to work with Mayor Breed, TCDC, and many other community leaders to provide San Francisco households with affordable, modern homes in this vibrant and historic community.”
“Westside Courts is the type of housing development that strengthens existing communities, prevents displacement, and provides working families with good homes in a thriving neighborhood,” said Dr. James McCray, Jr., Executive Director of TCDC. “We’re grateful to everyone who came together to ensure that Westside Courts and the families who call it home remain a part of this community for generations to come.”