Okay, here I am about to state what’s likely to be an unpopular opinion but so be it.
It’s come to my attention that my father (Neil) is running an online fundraising campaign so he can stay in SF. You can see it here: https://www.crowdrise.com/neils-househome
His story, in his words …
I am a 79 yr. old man, who the housing I'm in for over 40 yrs. is going to be putting me out --new owners who are doing this. I am a diabetic, macular degeneration, early Alzheimer’s. I am on social security--can't work. What will I do? I need a house-a home for me. Please help! I'm a veteran and my family lives far. So I have no help--a care giver who helps a little. If you can help--give me a house to live in. Send to Neil R. Seippel 106 Appleton Ave. San Francisco, Ca. 94110 Or Neil R. Seippel % Chase Bank San Francisco, Ca. Birth date: 8/07/1937 Phone# 1 -415-424-0074 Would like to be in San Francisco---San Jose or area of California. Have family in Southern California firstname.lastname@example.org (but I don't have internet at present.)
So I’ll start with that I’ve no doubt the medical stuff he say’s here is true. It’s also true that he did a tour with the Air Force, and was a Merchant Marine under the Navy so I’ll give him ‘Veteran’ as well, though it should be noted he never served in a combat capacity or in a conflict zone.
I KNOW some of you are like, “why is Valerie who’s normally one of the first people to offer broke student and wandering academic friends a free place to crash not taking in her own father?”
Let’s start with the small ‘white lies’ contained in the statement. Being born in 1937 means he’s turning 79 in August, not 79 currently. My father has a propensity for exaggeration, and hyperbole. Learning this early from him has served me well as a writer where it has its’ place within fictional pieces, but a self-fundraising campaign isn’t one of them. What’s more at issue is what he’s omitted. That he was abusive to his first wife (my mom) and daughter (me), which is why said daughter (me) doesn’t want him living with us (hubby+dog+I), even though we actually don’t live “far” from San Francisco at all ~42-50 mins on the BART train. That's closer than the San Jose he’s also mentioned being ok with living in.
Next let’s discuss Holly Courts Project Housing which you can learn about here: http://sf.curbed.com/2012/11/12/10307338/sfs-earliest-public-housing-projects and this lady’s story here:http://abc7news.com/realestate/7-on-your-side-helps-woman-after-sf-apartment-flooded/1032065/.
Long story short it’s REALLY old, in need of the upgrades that are being done, and it’s NOT changed ownership as it’s still owned by HUD, but rather management as http://www.bridgehousing.com/ is managing the property for HUD and wants to renovate it with the money allotted, as well as to make sure people are in units appropriate to their family size. Therefore tenants are being temporarily located elsewhere (mostly in vacant units in Bayview and/or in Sacramento) while the work takes place. My father being racist probably doesn’t want to go to the heavily African-American Bayview, and being lazy doesn’t want to go to Sacramento where he doesn’t know the area well.
I’m not even going to go with technically he should be a sex offender (for what he did to me and my mum) and thus not qualified for public housing (http://archives.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/sex-offender-living-in-sf-public-housing-dodges-federal-rules/Content?oid=2912184) because that’s a bullshit rule anyways. Anyone at the poverty level or below should be qualified for housing assistance, though person’s with those particular issues should be housed in different locations from families and women.
We should also note that Neil lives on his own, and unit 106 is a family sized unit with two bedrooms, one of which is a large Master bedroom.
San Francisco is currently suffering a homeless family crisis of massive proportions (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24293-no-solution-to-record-number-of-homeless-families-in-san-francisco ) and is even housing SF working families elsewhere http://m.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/S-F-spending-plenty-to-house-homeless-families-5588518.php so a family who needs that unit should have that unit. As a retire/unemployed 78 year old there’s no reason why he can’t be moved to a smaller unit somewhere, even one out of SF.
What’s unfair is having a working poor family whose jobs are in SF commuting from Sacramento while he keeps a unit far larger than he needs.
That said everyone deserves a place to live, regardless of if they are an abusive liar, and that there’s nothing wrong with Sacramento, or for him to confront his racism by living in the Bayview neighborhood. In fact I think it would actually be good for him.
It’s certainly going to be good for the working family who needs a place to stay nearer to their SF or Bay Area based work.