Oakland is facing a housing affordability crisis. We’ve already seen too many Bay Area communities become unaffordable for middle and low-income residents, and our most vulnerable residents suffer in unsafe and overcrowded conditions as well as in growing homeless encampments. That’s why we came together in 2016 to pass city and county measures that protect Oaklanders from being forced to move out of affordable housing as well as building more housing for our most vulnerable — including more transitional and permanent housing for the homeless.
As your Mayor, I have fought tirelessly to both increase the supply of new and affordable housing and protect Oaklanders from getting evicted or displaced from their homes. Already, we have:
- Adopted Oakland’s first Inclusionary Policies and Affordable Housing Impact Fees — so new market rate housing projects either include protected affordable units or pay into Oakland’s affordable housing trust.
- Created Keep Oakland Housed — an innovative homelessness and displacement prevention initiative that provides emergency funds, income stabilization support and legal assistance to get people housed and keep people housed. It saved 60 families from losing their housing in just it’s first ten days.
- Prioritized fighting displacement and producing more affordable housing with A1 & KK bonds to invest $280 million to create permanent affordable housing – TWELVE TIMES more investment in affordable housing funding compared with previous budgets!
- Convened Oakland’s first Housing Cabinet of experts & stakeholders who prioritized more than 40 initiatives — the 17K/17K Plan — that, by 2024, will Protect 17,000 Oaklanders from displacement and Produce 17,000 new housing units.
- Strengthened tenant protections for Oakland’s tens of thousands of renters, including rent control, just cause eviction and relocation benefits by passing new policies and ballot measures like JJ. We also expanded tenant services, like legal assistance to fight illegal rent increases or evictions and support further expansions through Prop 10 and Measure Y.
- Facilitated a record-breaking rate of housing construction – six-times the previous average – causing rents to finally stabilize at the beginning of 2018.
- Expanded the supply of Section 8 Rental Units by offering new incentives to rental property owners.
- Prioritized funding to protect existing families at risk of displacement by converting unprotected buildings into protected affordable housing — more than 300 units in the last two years.
Emergency Interventions to Help our Homeless
- Immediately moved people off the streets and into our innovative Tuff Shed Cabin Communities, which have allowed encampments to move off of sidewalks and into a dignified and supportive community with safety, secured storage, sanitation and services that are moving residents to employment and permanent housing — adding 120 beds plus another 230 more just approved and funded. We’ve also brought sanitation support directly to encampments and unsheltered residents, along with expanded mobile outreach and medical care.
- Funded 4 Safe RV parking communities, as well as provided Faith Community with mini-grant funding to provide safe parking in church lots.
- Won an unprecedented $8.6 million direct allocation from the State Budget to address homelessness, along with $18 million for Alameda County.
- Purchased a second Rapid Re-housing Center to use “Housing First” approach to help 90 more residents at a time move to self-sufficiency. Also created a new year-round 100 bed shelter with services at St. Vincent dePaul’s.
- Helped create and lead new advocacy and regional coordination to end homelessness and housing insecurity including Alameda County Mayor’s Conference Homelessness Coordinating Group; CASA: The Committee to House the Bay Area; The California Big 11; and Mayors & CEOs for US Housing Investment.
I will also fight to protect our small Oakland-grown businesses, artists and non-profit organizations from displacement. As an Oakland native, I’m passionate about protecting what makes Oakland, Oakland. And we will continue to target the root causes and direct symptoms of homelessness and strengthen tools that ensure success, such as:
- Launched Kiva Oakland, which has provided more than $3 million in zero-interest loans to more than 600 small Oakland-grown businesses – 90% owned by people of color & 70% owned by women — with an average income of $44k. Helped launch the Oakland Emerging 100, a collaborative initiative to prepare, launch and grow 100 new businesses founded by underserved young entrepreneurs in Oakland each year!
Created Oakland’s first Policy Director for Art Spaces to assist artists and cultural organizations in keeping safe, affordable spaces in Oakland, as well as helped the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) launch the “Keeping Space – Oakland” grants program which is helping small arts organizations maintain affordable space in Oakland.