Marin City's historical Golden Gate Village needs major work

 Marin City, the unincorporated, mostly African American enclave on Sausalito's northern tip, may finally receive the attention it and its residents deserve, befitting the location's historical status.

Marin City's Golden Gate Village is public housing that was originally constructed to house the mostly African American shipyard workers that came to build World War II ships for the country.

The almost 300-unit complex is on the National Registry of Historical Places. 

After the war, many of the workers and their descendants remained to this very day.

While there have been cosmetic improvements to the complex, deeper issues such as electrical, plumbing and more remain. In reality, the complex is physically falling apart.

The revenue from rent comes nowhere near what's needed to maintain it as it is, let alone allow structural, technical and environmental upgrades.  

"Always in jeopardy of something breaking down always," said Marin City resident Jackie Hall.

On Nov. 15 at Marin Civic Center, the Housing Authority considered putting the complex in a different Federal HUD program that would allow deep and extensive repairs. 

"That gives us more money from the federal government to pay for the desperately needed reservations at Golden Gate Village," said Fair Housing Advocate Barbara Bogard.

Those involved stressed the rehab cannot wait much longer. 

"The guys from Marin Housing Authority; they work so hard and they try to be everywhere. But, there's not enough of them to go around, to get these jobs done," said Hall.

Outside the repairs and rehabilitation, the other question is much deeper. Who will run this complex? Will it be the county or a co-op of the residents who want to make their own decisions? 

The ultimate issue is: Who will actually own this property? The residents have a plan that converts the ownership model to a limited equity housing model, giving them some control over their future. 

 The Housing Authority wants to "keep the same old, same old, which is they would stay in control of the residents' lives," said Bogard.

 The Housing Authority turned down KTVU's request for an interview.