monopoly_money.jpgSan Francisco has been awarded two $300,000 federal planning grants to aid in the redevelopment of public housing projects in the Potrero Hill and Sunnydale neighborhoods, city and federal officials announced today.

The Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants will allow the Bridge Housing Corporation and Sunnydale Development Co, LLC to develop plans for mixed-income developments intended to transform struggling communities, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Potrero Terrace and Annex and Sunnydale housing projects are among eight housing projects citywide slated to be replaced and upgraded as part of San Francisco’s Hope SF program. The program, launched in 2005, aims to replace and revitalize notoriously decrepit housing projects described by HUD officials as “severely distressed.”

Both projects are currently in the planning process and should be ready for approval by next year, according to Amy Tharpe, director of policy and planning for the Mayor’s Office of Housing.

“These grants will allow us to create the type of transformation plans for Sunnydale and Potrero that are good for residents and good for our city,” Mayor Ed Lee said today.

At Potrero, the 606 existing public housing units, which date back to 1941, are slated to be replaced and an additional 800 to 1,000 units of workforce and market rate housing are planned for the site, according to city officials.

In addition, developers expect to rework the street grid to improve connections to the surrounding area and add a “main street” with retail. A community center and open space are also planned.

At Sunnydale, a 50-acre project in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood, 785 units of public housing will be replaced and around 900 units of affordable and market-rate units added.

A new community center and parks are planned, as well as retail and other community services.

In both projects, the city is taking steps to prevent current residents from being displaced, including phased construction and the provision of support services during redevelopment, Tharpe said.

The introduction of market-rate and affordable housing is intended to bring new energy to the neighborhoods and reduce the concentration of the city’s poorest residents within the areas, as well as increase the city’s housing stock.

A total of 17 Choice Neighborhood Initiative grants were awarded nationwide from among 72 applications, and San Francisco is the only applicant city to receive two, HUD officials said.

Once the planning process is complete, the city will compete for federal Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants. San Francisco received one such $30 million grant last year for the redevelopment of the Alice Griffith Housing Development.

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