Fight Over Future And Funding Of Marin City Housing Project Brewing

MARIN CITY (CBS SF) — A fight is brewing in Marin City over the county’s only family public housing project. At issue are the costly repairs needed at the Golden Gate Village on Drake Avenue and how to pay for the improvements.

Everyone can agree that Golden Gate Village needs work, but the debate was raging Monday over how that would happen.

Golden Gate Village is the only family public housing in Marin County. It has 296 functional units and needs $16 million in immediate repairs with $60 million in funds to cover repairs and maintenance over the next two decades.

The debate over how that will happen has heated up.

“We’re going to stick ’em to the fire. They say the Resident Council is supposed to be partners, and that’s not true,” said Golden Gate Village Resident Council President Royce McLemore.

That sentiment is much to the chagrin of the Marin County Housing Authority, who says research for the renovation has been a two-year process and one the Housing Authority says it has tried to keep the community involved in.

“As we move forward in this process, that we’re cognizant of the whole notion of community and how important community plays in the process of revitalization,” said Marin Housing Authority Executive Director Lewis Jordan.

The Housing Authority hired a consultant to look at its options. Historic preservation with a renovation is one possibility. A mixed-income development with more housing — possibly at market rate — is another.

But in the meantime, a group from Golden Gate Village filed paperwork to get the complex an historical designation in the hopes that it would tie the hands of the housing authority by adding another layer of regulation before anything could be added or taken from the neighborhood.

“It definitely needs upgrades, but it seems like a way to get people out without an invitation to come back home,” said Golden Gate Village resident Beatra Hall.

The Housing Authority says that would never happen and refuses to be part of a back and forth with residents.

“We don’t have a position for or against the nomination,” said Jordan. “We question the process. And we are in the process of talking to the State Historical Preservation office about that process, wanting to make sure that the Marin Housing Authority is an integral part of it.”

On Monday night, the consulting company will present both of the options at the meeting along with the reality of funding and hearing public comment from residents.

More from Emily Turner
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