Director of Community Real Estate Karoleen Feng's Speech at 25 Sanchez RAD Rededication Event

As we turn the calendar to 2019, it’s the perfect time to reflect on new beginnings. That is definitely the case for 25 Sanchez.

Looking around at this refurbished property I am delighted to see a prime example of collective impact.

It was four-and-a-half years ago when taking on the City’s call for nonprofits to take on HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD, for short) seemed like a daunting process for MEDA. After all, this was brand-new work for us. That’s why the support of many partners was enlisted. That meant City officials, funders, community members and the residents of 25 Sanchez itself. And to you I now offer MEDA’s thanks for the key role you all played in making today a reality.

It should be noted that tackling a project such as 25 Sanchez took a trusted partner, our co-developer BRIDGE Housing. MEDA could never have undertaken this work without such an experienced player in the field.

It is interesting to note that the last two mayors of San Francisco grew up in public housing. The late Mayor Ed Lee championed the rehabbing of public housing in his beloved San Francisco, having grown up in public housing in Seattle. And our new mayor, London Breed (photo, left), is furthering that dynamic vision. We are honored that she is with us today to cut the ribbon.

What was our vision for the RAD properties? It was to create:

  • Functional, quality homes for our seniors and disabled residents;
  • Welcoming community spaces; and
  • Community ownership of those spaces.

Redefining public housing was our goal — and I am proud to say that this goal has been met.  

25 Sanchez is just one of five RAD properties MEDA has now successfully rehabbed — all part of the Mission-Castro cluster that totals 439 homes preserved for seniors and disabled San Franciscans.

We sincerely thank the residents of 25 Sanchez for letting us become part of their lives. Your input on construction means and methods was vital — and engagement was high, as evidenced by how interactive this building was during tea time community meetings, translated into many languages, and in our many one-on-one conversations.

Additionally, throughout construction we learned lessons based on resident feedback. During the last three construction phases, the residents knew how to prepare themselves and work with one another as neighbors and floormates, so that we could actually consolidate work phases.

There was community input on the Precita Eyes mural and the plants for the blooming garden out back, and residents chose paint colors, the style of furniture and the imaginative artwork adorning the property.

So to the residents of 25 Sanchez: You epitomize what it means to be a community. You entrusted us as stewards of your longtime home. And that was a true gift.

Today, we rededicate this building, which represents the beginning of a bright future for this community.


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