Proposition C is housing for all of us! Letter from Oscar Grande of PODER

16 10 2012

From last week’s Prop C press conference at BHNC’s Crocker Amazon Senior Apartments in the Excelsior.


Proposition C is “housing for all of us”. 

We live in one of the greatest cities in the world, but it’s one of the most expensive cities in the country.  Prop C’s Housing Trust Fund will create opportunities for you and I to live and thrive in the City we love.  Over a billion dollars over thirty years for building low-income affordable homes, doubling the size of the city’s first-time homebuyer loan program, a new program to stabilize the foreclosure crisis, and incentives to build privately-funded mixed-income projects. A key feature to making this work is successful collaboration with government, non-profit developers, private developers and you, who have invested so much to make this City such an awesome place to live, work and play.

I was born and raised in this community, I love my neighborhood and the people, the small mom and pops, the rich cross-culture of ideas and traditions, the community institutions that we know and trust. I am raising 4 children and my wife teaches public school in the Mission. I work at a nonprofit organization PODER. I organize community residents for affordable housing and environmental justice. We don’t make a lot of money; as a working family we worry about the future of our children- their education, their health, their careers, the economy. Affordable housing is a big part of our concerns. I’m part of a generation whose family immigrated to this country, settled in San Francisco, landed good blue-collar union jobs, bought a home in the Excelsior, and began to lay down long-term roots. I have benefited from this stability. My experience is unlike many of the families I know- kicked out, priced out, foreclosed on, and living in deplorable conditions. My family and I have been able to focus on building assets, getting involved in our community, raising our kids. We shouldn’t have to struggle for housing – housing is a basic human right!

Why we need to support Prop C?

As someone who has spent the last 15 years advocating and organizing my community for affordable housing, I can tell you that the key to making this a success is collaboration and cooperation. The old adage that it takes a village is exactly what this proposition is all about. With the closure of redevelopment agencies it got a lot harder to build and finance affordable housing. Prop C will provide an essential source of funding to make the it easier for non-profits developers to do what they know best – build and manage the most kick-butt affordable homes on the West Coast. Here in my neighborhood there are ripe publically owned lands sitting vacant and under-utilized. San Jose & Geneva in one example. Prop C money could be the solution to putting our City to work and building much needed affordable housing on that site. It’s close to BART, buses, local business, near City College, Balboa High School, and Denman.

On November 6 vote yes on Prop C “Housing for all of us”

Do it for you’re your kids, do it for your co-workers, do it for your neighbors, do it for your grandparents, and do it for yourself. We work to hard to make this City the greatest place in the world, we deserve to live and plant roots here. We don’t deserve to be priced out. We deserve to benefit from all our hard work.