wifi-fan.jpgResidents of San Francisco’s 6,500 public housing units now have free access to broadband and wireless Internet, the mayor’s office announced Tuesday.

The initiative between the city’s Department of Technology and the San Francisco Housing Authority to expand Internet access for low-income, senior and disabled residents began in June.

It now includes 33 public housing sites throughout the city, including five planned HOPE SF developments, which are efforts to rebuild the city’s most distressed older public housing, according to the Housing Authority.

“Free Wi-Fi and broadband access will create new opportunities for jobs, education and a better quality of life for our public housing residents,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

San Francisco has committed $95 million to HOPE SF, according to the mayor’s office.

Work has already begun on the first development, Hunters View in the Bayview District, and future projects are planned at the Sunnydale, Potrero, Westside Courts and Alice Griffith public housing developments.

The five HOPE SF communities are expected to grow from 2,000 homes to 5,000 homes, and will provide both affordable rental housing and new for-sale housing for middle-class families, according to the mayor’s office.

Ari Burack, Bay City News

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