OpEd by Executive Director, Gloria Bruce, on Oakland’s urgent need to account for and allocate Impact Fees:
“Three years ago, advocates and the City Council took a major step to ensure market-rate developers pay their fair share. The impact fee adopted in 2016 simply required developers who want to build in our beautiful city to contribute to affordable housing. So why are 93% of the apartments permitted in the last few years market-rate and totally out of reach for most Oaklanders? The impact fee is supposed to address this imbalance, but tens of millions of dollars that could be committed to affordable housing projects have not yet been made available. The city must act now to track, budget and commit these funds.” Gloria Bruce, the Mercury News, October 18, 2019. Opinion: Oakland should turn cranes into affordable housing
Impact Fees coverage quoting EBHO Staff:
Oakland created an affordable housing fee 3 years ago. Developers haven’t built a single unit yet. -San Francisco Chronicle
Anti-Displacement and Tenant Protections:
They’ve been evicted from a North Berkeley building. Now they want to buy it, with help from a land trust. – “The potential is there to preserve the building forever, to have community ownership over housing,” added Ronald Flannery, an organizer with EBHO. “The difficult element here is the owners have the right to do what they want, and it’s about how much public pressure we can turn towards,” he said. Berkeleyside. December 2019
Oakland May Tighten 40-year Old Condo Conversion Laws. Tenant advocates say current rules threaten city’s affordable housing stock.– “The ordinance isn’t just about protecting tenants from displacement, but preserving our rental housing stock for people who can’t afford homeownership,” said Jeffrey Levin of East Bay Housing Organizations at a Dec. 3 city council committee meeting where the ordinance was discussed.” East Bay Times. December 2019
‘Gloria Bruce of East Bay Housing Organizations said, “This (legislation) carries a lot of urgency about displacement and how investment can happen without displacement. “As currently framed at the federal level, (the regulations) are place-based, not people based; so, we really need to center people in this conversation,” she said. “Nationally, there has been a big amount of investigative reporting, (including) in the New York times, about how this tool has mostly been used to (fund) projects that have already would have happened or things that are luxury development(s). we don’t want that to happen in Oakland.” in Loren Taylor Hopes to Use Federal “Opportunity Zone” Tax Breaks to Foster Local Development– The Oakland Post, December 2019.
Oakland United Town Hall demands for a strong Community Benefits Agreements in any new A’s Stadium plan. October 2019.
Opinion: A Vision for the Future of the Coliseum Area Oakland Post.
Public Land for Public Good:
“Jeffrey Levin, policy director of the East Bay Housing Organizations, said he “strongly supported” the BART transit-oriented development and called for increasing the amount of affordable housing at the development beyond the 20 percent requirement.” BART’s El Cerrito Plaza development idea inches forward — with parking concerns– East Bay Times. December 2019.
Sophia Dewitt, Program Director. “Affordable Housing is desperately needed. Up to this point Berkeley has only met just over 10% of its regional housing allocation for low-income and very-low-income units.” BART-Berkeley affordable housing plan faces criticism. KTVU. December 2019.
Affordable Housing Best Practices Coverage:
“Gloria Bruce, executive director of East Bay Housing Organizations, an affordable housing advocacy coalition that works with nonprofit developers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, agreed. “It’s certainly not the intent of these tax credits or this public source of financing. The people we work with … they’re either using these tax credits to create new affordable housing or they’re acquiring and preserving homes to make them affordable in the long term. That’s the goal. The goal is not profit. Eviction is an absolute last resort and most of the time, you’re trying to keep people stable,” Bruce said.” East Bay tenants face eviction as developer converts units to affordable housing. The East Bay Times. September 1st, 2019.
EBHO Letters and Formal Statements to City Councils
EBHO Staff Testify at Concord City Council: Renter’s Protections: October 15, 2019 Statement Read to Concord City Council by Ronald Flannery
November 21, 2019: Berkeley Rally for Housing Justice Now Press Release
November 20, 2019: Impact Fees Into Affordable Housing Now Action Press Release
Media questions and inquiries: contact Grover Wehman-Brown| grover [at] ebho.org or 510-663-3830 x 314.