Johnny Oliver's Speech at Ribbon-Cutting for Completion of Rehab of 168 Sickles Ave. Small Sites Property

I am honored to be part of today’s celebration of collaboration, of partnerships and of impact. 

This is a win for this building’s 12 residents who can now stay in their longtime homes.

This is a win for District 11 and the advocacy of Supervisor Safai.

This is a win for San Francisco remaining the welcoming place we all call home.

A building is not just walls – it’s the lives within those walls that matter. It’s family meals around the kitchen table. Or memories being created. The residents of 168 Sickles represent the diversity that is San Francisco’s strength – and they’ve been creating memories here for an average of 13 years. And it’s not just about affordable homes: It’s also about quality housing. Quality housing equals quality lives – something we all deserve.

The preservation and renovation of 168 Sickles, which included a seismic upgrade, would not have been possible without the collective efforts of so many. The tenants organized and made their voices heard. The Mayor’s Office of Housing & Community Development gave SFHDC and MEDA the green light for the acquisition. And – once again – the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund provided the nimble bridge financing, from acquisition to rehab. MEDA values these trusted partnerships, and we look to build the capacity of even more San Francisco nonprofits looking to get into the impactful preservation work possible because of the innovative Small Sites Program. 

The 12 units at 168 Sickles Ave. here in the Outer Mission are now added to the 21 residential units of the Excelsior’s 4830 Mission St. property MEDA purchased. That translates to 33 total units of affordable housing preserved in D11. With COPA, MEDA and other nonprofits every day see listings of properties comprising vulnerable tenants – tenants we look to keep in place through Small Sites purchases here in D11 and across this city’s 49 square miles. We’ve made that happen 35 times since Small Sites started. Unfortunately, there have been challenges to making that possible over the last year. But we cannot run from this fact: The pandemic has shown more than ever how economic and even physical health starts with secure, stable, affordable housing. No equitable recovery is possible without Small Sites added to the mix.

My team and I are excited and ready to roll up our sleeves in 2022 to make sure other families can rest easy tonight, the way the 12 residents of 168 Sickles can now do.

Together, let’s make this event the rule and not the exception so that we can celebrate more wins like we are doing today, in D11 and every District in San Francisco.



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