The rental housing situation in Oakland in 2015 is now widely acknowledged to be in crisis. Rents in Oakland have gone up over 20% in just the past year, faster than in any other large city in the US (https://www.zumper.com/blog/2015/08/zumper-national-rent-report-august-2015/) .
This page is meant as a place to gather data on the scope of the crisis and suggest proposals to solve the crisis, including solutions for both the short-term (within the next year) and the long-term.
- Upcoming Events
- Previous Events
- Resource Links
- Proposed Solutions - Short Term
- Proposed Solutions - Long Term
- Sixty percent of Oakland residents are renters. (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/its-time-to-overturn-the-state-ban-on-rent-control/Content?oid=4229744)
- Oakland's rent control (RC) law only covers multi-family dwellings built before 1983. State law, the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=01001-02000&file=1954.50-1954.535) , prohibits Oakland from enacting rent control on buildings built in 1983 and after. Per the East Bay Express: "That means that about one-third of all rental units in Oakland — 32,000 out of 92,000 — are exempt from the city's rent control regulations." (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/its-time-to-overturn-the-state-ban-on-rent-control/Content?oid=4229744).
- The same state law prohibits Oakland from enacting rent control over single-family houses.
- Oakland's rent control law is "reactive", that is it depends on tenants contacting the rent board to report problems. Surrounding cities like San Francisco and Berkeley use a "proactive" system where all rentals are registered with the city and the allowed rent is determined by the city and enforced by the city. Oakland's system puts the onus onto tenants for their rights to be enforced.
12/5/2015: Oakland Alliance 2016 Election Strategy Forum, will include more discussion on creating a progressive platform for Oakland, including for housing, and how to elect a councilperson who could work for said platform - event is 1pm-4pm at First AME Church, 3700 Telegraph Ave. Check https://www.facebook.com/OakAllianceCA/ for more details.
11/22/2015 (Sun): Berkeley Tenants Union holding a teach-in about the rental crisis in Berkeley, may be able to make alliances and share ideas. Facilitator: Paola Laverde, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Commissioner. Speakers: Stephen Barton, Ph.D., Former Director of the Housing Department and Deputy Director of the Rent Stabilization Program in Berkeley; Moni Law, Affordable Housing Activist; Rick Lewis, Executive Director, Bay Area Community Land Trust and former Housing Advisory Commission Member; Austin Pritzkat, President, Berkeley Student Cooperative; Katherine Harr, Berkeley Tenants Union. http://berkeleytenants.org/?p=1445
11/14/2015 (Sat): Socialist Alternative meeting at the Omni Commons, 4899 Shattuck Ave, 2pm-4pm. https://omnicommons.org/calendar/events/socialistsrising-oakland/. There will be some discussion of the Oakland housing crisis and how we get somebody elected to the Oakland city council who recognizes the crisis.
11/12/2015: Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (AD-15, Richmond->North Oakland) hosted an Affordable Housing Townhall, downtown Oakland, 6pm-8pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/1517027241951079/
11/09/2015: Regular monthly meeting of the Oakland Tenants Union, second Monday of each month. http://www.oaklandtenantsunion.org/
11/08/2015: Oakland Alliance 2016 Election Strategy Forum, had break-out discussion for housing crisis and what strategies to use to fix it. https://www.facebook.com/events/187221828277699/
10/17/2015, Speak Out Stay Put Forum, organized by Causa Justa: see https://www.facebook.com/causajusta/posts/1043796915651890 and multiple other Facebook posts by Causa Justa. Also inluded in forum: Oakland United Coalition (https://www.facebook.com/OUCoalition)
9/30/2015, Oakland City Council meeting: https://oakland.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=434494&GUID=47FB844A-9842-4DE3-A97E-9F9366C79F06&Options=info&Search=
- Agenda for CC meeting on 9/30/2015: https://www.scribd.com/doc/282667691/OaklandCC-20150930-MeetingAgenda
- Letter from Oakland Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan dated 9/24/2015 outlining some proposals to reduce illegal evictions, for discussion at CC meeting on 9/30/2015: https://www.scribd.com/doc/282667694/OaklandCC-20150930-KaplanHousingLetter
Block By Block Organizing Network (BBBON): Grassroots organization for addressing the rental crisis. Policy proposals: BBBON_Council Has Passed Housing Roadmap Now What_flyer.docx (see Proposed Solutions - Long Term below). Working with Pamela Drake, https://twitter.com/Bethpikegirl. Pamela Drake's blog posts on affordable housing: http://draketalkoakland.com/category/affordable-housing/.
Causa Justa: Working for low-income folks' causes including wages and rents. https://www.facebook.com/causajusta?fref=nf
East Bay Housing Organizations: https://www.facebook.com/eastbayhousingorganizations
Oakland Alliance: Working on creating a progressive platform and fielding progressive candidates in targeted races. https://www.facebook.com/OakAllianceCA.
- Organized by: Nicola Deanhttps://twitter.com/sassmasterdeane
- Carroll Fifehttps://twitter.com/fifeca
- Cats Brookshttps://twitter.com/CatsCommentary
- Debra Averyhttps://twitter.com/jazzpastord
- April Thomashttps://twitter.com/aprilbthomas
- Dan Siegelhttps://twitter.com/DanMSiegel, and others.
Oakland Housing Cabinet: organized by Mayor Libby Schaaf: Email-newsletter from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf dated "August 2015", introducing her "Oakland Housing Cabinet" project: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs117/1104087626438/archive/1121923135430.html. Homepage for Schaaf's Oakland Housing Cabinet with lots of links to reference materials on scope of crisis and possible solutions: https://oakland-home.squarespace.com/
Oakland Tenants Union: Working for educating tenants about rent control and eviction law, eneacting "real rent control", reforming the condo conversion policies, and protecting tenants from seismic retrofit costs. http://www.oaklandtenantsunion.org/. Led by James Vann.
Oakland United Coalition: https://www.facebook.com/OUCoalition?fref=nf
Socialist Alternative: https://www.facebook.com/SocialistAlternativeUSA
- Urban Displacement Map from UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies: http://www.urbandisplacement.org/map
- Oakland Housing Roadmap to Equity" - adopted by City Council 9/30/2015. PolicyLink report on housing solutions for Oakland, dated 07/07/2015, by Kalima Rose, senior director of the PolicyLink Center for Infrastructure Equity, and Margaretta Lin, director of strategic initiatives of the City of Oakland’s Housing and Community Development Department: http://www.policylink.org/sites/default/files/pl_report_oak%20housing_070715_0.pdf
- 2015/12/16, OaklandNorth: As rents rise, tenants confront Oakland's perfect housing storm
- 2015/12/22, Twitter Storify compiled by Adriana Levin: "bay area housing crisis epic", explaining difficulties of providing affordable housing in the SF Bay Area: tweets from @alevin (Adriana Levin),@rolandlisf (Roland Li of SF Business Times),@kimmaicutler (Kim-Mai Cutler of Techcrunch),@woolie, @RedwoodGirl. https://storify.com/alevin/roland-li-s-housing-epic?awesm=sfy.co_f1E2h&utm_medium=sfy.co-twitter&utm_campaign=&utm_content=storify-pingback&utm_source=t.co
- 2015/12/23: East Bay Express: A Year of Development, Displacement, and Inaction. "The East Bay's housing crunch reached crisis levels in 2015 — and the lack of new affordable units and proactive policy solutions has many worried that the inequity will only worsen next year." By Darwin BondGraham and Sam Levin.
(toconnor) Just brainstorming here:
- relocation fund made available to anyone being displaced due to unaffordable rent increases
- enact mandatory 3-month notice needed for rent increases over 5%, similar to Portland's emergency measures from Oct 2015
- prohibit rent increases over 20% in one year
- install modular housing, like what San Jose is installing for homeless people, in city vacant lots
From Tim McCormick on Medium, 12/10/2015-12/15/2015 (https://medium.com/@tmccormick/great-initiative-df0e13819c7c#.vob2d9y9l):
- Yale School of Architecture “Less is Enough” studio (Aureli / Emily Abruzzo) 2015 explored topic of how to add 100k new homes in SF .
- Proposals from David Baker Architects, SF.
- “Housing Solution: Backyard Cottages Could Add 1/3 More Homes to SF” and other articles in SF Public Press’ June 2014 Housing special issue.
- “Housing Solution: Allow Off-the-Shelf Homes in San Francisco’s Underused Spaces.” (on my Houslets project and Luke Iseman’s Boxouse project.
- Lantsberg, Alex. “Borrowing from Habitat and Rural Land Preservation: Affordable Housing Conservation Easements for San Francisco (and beyond).” 16 Sept 2015.
- Mejias, Luis (Luis Eric. ). “Solving the housing crisis in San Francisco with factory-built housing technology and regulatory reform.” 2015. M.A. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- I thought New London Architecture’s recent proposals contest was well-done, & good model: https://t.co/aSaRgFNH9h.
Relatedly, Shelter (UK housing charity) is asking all London mayoral candidates to offer plans for 50k new housing units/year.
From Tim McCormick @tmccormick, 10/18/2015: OAK could permit on-trailer small dwellings on public parking, they cost < $20k (https://twitter.com/tmccormick/status/656045664770482176)
- organize Oakland city government and Oakland residents to turn over the state law (Costa-Hawkins) that prohibits rent control on single-family houses
- create a rent registry for all rental units in Oakland
Proposals from Block By Block Organizing Network: BBBON_Council Has Passed Housing Roadmap Now What_flyer.docx:
- Declare housing state-of-emergency and declare moratorium on approval of all projects until developer impact fees are implemented and we have a timeline to implement the Housing Equity Roadmap
- Developer impact fees
- Inclusionary zoning
- Use 50% of "Boomerang Funds" for affordable housing
- Mandate at least 50% of new development around transit be affordable
- Allocate unused public land for affordable housing or mixed-use
- Fund the down-payment assistance and first-time home-buyer programs
- Comprehensive rent-control ordinance
- Anti-speculation tax
- Revise accessory dwelling unit policy