EBHO 2016 Year End Report

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Investing in Homes and Hope:

EBHO’s 2016 Year In Review

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A Letter from EBHO Executive Director, Gloria Bruce



 “On the morning of November 9th, one of EBHO’s Resident Organizing leaders called me with jubilation in her voice:  “CONGRATULATIONS, Gloria!” she said. “You must be over the moon!” She was, of course, referring to the decisive victory of Measure A1 in Alameda County…”


What We Won!

Alameda County Measure A1 Passes! The biggest EBHO Victory in Years

Impact Fees Finally Come to Oakland

BART Adopts Affordable Housing Policies

Walnut Creek: Diversity through Housing in Contra Costa County


Resident & Community Organizing Program

The Next Generation of Leaders: Leadership Academy 2016

Resident and Community Organizing Program (RCOP) Committee

Resident Empowerment Project


A Weeklong Celebration of Affordable Homes: Annual Affordable Housing Week 2016 & 2016-17 Guidebook

Faith-Rooted Actions to End Displacement & Create Beloved Community 

EBHO’s Membership Grows in 2016 – And We Gear Up for 2017


A Letter from EBHO Executive Director, Gloria Bruce


Dear Members:

On the morning of November 9th, one of EBHO’s Resident Organizing leaders called me with jubilation in her voice:  “CONGRATULATIONS, Gloria!” she said. “You must be over the moon!”

She was, of course, referring to the decisive victory of Measure A1 in Alameda County, committing $580 million to build and preserve thousands of affordable homes – a community victory in which EBHO members played a big part. 

I shared that while I was glad that A1 had passed with 73% of the vote, I was having a hard time celebrating that morning.  “Gloria,” she reminded me, “even in hard times, we must be thankful for what we’ve achieved.” 

Let’s take this wise member’s advice and celebrate what we won with collective action.  YOU helped pass Measure A1, win funding for housing in Berkeley and Oakland, and protect renters in Oakland and Richmond.  

As you’ll read, 2016 was a banner year for EBHO even before the election. We led the charge to establish Oakland’s housing impact fee and increase Berkeley’s fee. We kept affordable housing high on the agenda in Walnut Creek and Concord. We supported BART’s new affordable housing goal. And a second fantastic cohort of community leaders is putting their Leadership Academy experience into action. 

Yet, these community wins had a context of painful losses.  Oakland – already struggling with crises of displacement and habitability – is mourning after the Ghost Ship fire. Our condolences are with the victims and their loved ones, and we continue to emphasize that housing isn’t truly affordable unless it is also safe in every sense.  This local work is especially important as we prepare for a national administration whose agenda threatens the safety of all too many people in our diverse East Bay. 

Last year, I wrote to you about “turning the tide” of displacement and housing instability.  This year, I’m reminded that tides don’t turn just once.   

We can’t rest now that A1 has passed, any more than we can become demoralized into inaction by uncertainty about the tax credit market or incoming HUD leadership.  These policy tides will ebb and flow; and EBHO will be there at high and low points with a vision of housing for all.

We will use our policy expertise for justice and inclusion.  We’ll keep building power and partnerships.  We’ll declare that affordable housing supports health, education, and neighborhood resilience – because it is a fundamental human right.  Please join us in these efforts.

Thank you for all you do to invest in community, 



What We Won!

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Alameda County Measure A1 Passes! The Biggest EBHO Victory in Years

After months of organizing, coalition building, and campaigning across the County, Measure A1 passed on November 8th! Measure A1 will provide $580 million in new investment to help our working families, veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness afford a place to live across Alameda communities. This measure required of the vote, but it received over 73%, showing how much County voters understood the critical  need for affordable housing and said YES to the solutions that work.

Looking back, 2016 was a whirlwind of activity for the EBHO community that led Measure A1 to victory.  Elected leaders and County staff led town hall meetings in the spring and summer to get buy-in from the community, and EBHO members showed up and spoke out at each one to build support and momentum. Over 200 businesses, housing and community organizations, faith communities, labor unions, news organizations and elected officials from all levels of government stepped up to give Measure A1 their official endorsement. The affordable housing community, organized labor, community foundations and elected leaders contributed 65 large donations to resource the campaign, in addition to hundreds of individual donors.

One group stood out with its field campaign: Resident leaders in EBHO’s Resident and Community Organizing Program (RCOP). Fifteen EBHO resident leaders began a bi-weekly committee meeting to strategize and train, and develop advocacy resources for Measure A1 and Measure JJ (Oakland’s renter protection ordinance). Even before the Bond got an official name in July, resident leaders were presenting to resident groups and recruiting others to join their meetings. In early August, resident leaders facilitated an ‘ambassador’ training, training over 60 people to present on the Measure A1. Overall, EBHO gave 55 presentations, the majority led by resident leaders.

In the four days leading up to the election, we ran a Get Out The Vote program from six different sites across the County, with nearly 800 volunteers walking hundreds of precincts, Distributing 130,000+ door hangers, and making over 150,000 phone calls. While innumerable people joined together behind Measure A1, several individuals and organizations need special recognition for their leadership: Supervisors Wilma Chan, Keith Carson, and the entire Board of Supervisors; MidPen Housing, The San Francisco Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente for their large-scale investments in the campaign; the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, for their strategy and partnership in co-leading this campaign; Clifford Moss, the campaign consultant; and above all, the EBHO membership for your contributions, dedication, and support in the streets to spread the word and make Measure A1 a reality!

Looking forward, EBHO will turn to the work of thanking Measure A1 volunteers and endorsers, and continuing to thank contributors. We will also sustain the momentum created during the campaign by engaging the campaigns 2,100+ contacts and building on new fundraising relationships.


Impact Fees Finally Come to Oakland!

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In one of our biggest campaigns in recent years, EBHO and other community organizations finally succeeded in establishing a housing impact fee in the City of Oakland!

In a campaign that stretched over a period of several years, we moved the discussion from “Should Oakland have an impact fee?” to “How much should the fee be and how quickly should it be adopted?”. Combining policy discussions with City staff and elected officials, participation on the City’s Stakeholder Working Group, and a broad-based grassroots campaign involving affordable housing residents and other community groups organized in the Oakland Community Investment Alliance (OCIA), we were successful in getting the City Council to adopt an impact fee that went beyond what City staff had originally recommended.

As of September 1, 2016, Oakland has an impact fee of $5,500 per unit (lower in some areas of the City) that increases to $11,000 in July 2017 and $22,000 in July 2018.  The final policy isn’t all we had hoped for – the fee took too long to put in place and is phased in over a period of several years, allowing many projects to escape paying the fee.  Nonetheless, it is a major victory that will create millions of dollars in new funding for affordable housing in Oakland.

We could not have  won without the incredible organizing and mobilizing of our Resident Community Organizing Program and EBHO’s leadership in OCIA, which included groups such as ACCE, EBASE, TransForm, Greenbelt Alliance, and Public Advocates, who held rallies, met with City officials, and stayed late into the night to speak before the City Council.   The impact fee campaign shows how much we can achieve when we all come together for housing justice. Read our SF Chronicle Op-ed on the impact fee here. 

BART Adopts Affordable Housing Policies!

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In a series of victories over the course of the year, BART has adopted forward-looking policies that will ensure inclusion of affordable homes when housing is developed on BART-owned land.  Culminating a 3-year long campaign, the new policies put BART on par with other transit agencies such as the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in the South Bay and LA Metro in Los Angeles, which have already adopted affordable housing requirements.

BART’s Affordable Housing Policy now requires that 20% of all housing developed on BART-owned property be affordable.  This requirement does not necessarily apply on a building-by-building basis, but must be met at each station where housing is developed.  BART’s updated Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Policy and Performance Goals now include a systemwide goal of 35% affordable housing, putting it on par with the targets adopted by VTA and LA Metro.  BART has also set an anti-displacement goal of no net loss of low income households within a half-mile radius of BART TOD development, and sets a minimum density of 75 units per acre on BART land.  Together these policies make BART a regional leader for equitable transit-oriented development.

This campaign would not have been successful without the hard work of our partners at TransForm and support from the SF Foundation’s Great Communities Collaborative.  Special thanks also go out to the many nonprofit developers and other EBHO members who testified at BART Board meetings in support of these policies.

We look forward to working with BART staff on specific implementation guidelines to ensure that these goals are realized.  We are already working to identify funding resources and financing mechanisms, and we are urging the BART Board to modify its policies to allow for land leases of up to 99 years instead of the current 66.


Walnut Creek: Diversity through Housing in Contra Costa County

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Because of the work of EBHO members, the City of Walnut Creek continues to take steps toward increasing its affordable housing funding. At the beginning of the year, the City released a study, which examined how new market rate housing increases local needs for affordable housing. The updated nexus and feasibility studies showing that the City’s housing impact fee can be increased from $15 to $24/ sq ft., and that the commercial linkage fee can be increased from $5 to $10/ sq ft., which would raise millions more for affordable homes in Walnut Creek.

More than 25 EBHO members turned out the first time this study was presented to the community in May, sending a strong signal that Walnut Creek has the community’s support. Although this process has been delayed, EBHO and community members have continued to send in letters of support and attend meetings to support Council leadership for affordable housing, and the impact fee process will resume in January 2017.

Additionally, in the last months of 2016, the City has resumed its West Downtown Specific Plan process. This detailed growth plan for Walnut Creek’s West Downtown was stalled for most of 2016, but now we have a chance to continue to advocate that the City require affordable housing and community benefits as part of significant changes and densification projected in the West Downtown. Since 2013, EBHO members, the Greenbelt Alliance, EBHO’s Interfaith Communities United, the Multi-Faith Action Coalition, the Coalition for a Vibrant and Inclusive Walnut Creek, and various congregations and faith leaders have joined forces to envision an affordable, diverse, green and safe West Downtown, and advocated for the policies that will make this vision a reality. We look forward to continuing this advocacy and partnership with the City of Walnut Creek in 2017.

Resident & Community Organizing Program


The Next Generation of Leaders: EBHO’s Leadership Academy 2016

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Our annual 4-month Leadership Academy is part of EBHO’s leadership development pipeline. Residents and staff of affordable housing participate in the program and share knowledge on topics ranging from housing justice to regional planning. We affirm the knowledge of participants and ensure lessons are grounded in the lived experience of the residents we work with.

The Leadership Academy is a deep investment in promising and emerging affordable housing leaders who will help shape and grow the affordable housing and social justice movement. Building life-long, justice-rooted relationships, our Leadership Academy will serve as a pipeline for leaders in the affordable housing movement. Residents and staff who graduated from the Academy in 2015 have taken extensive leadership roles in their buildings as well as in EBHO city-wide campaigns. We’re looking forward to hosting the Leadership Academy again in 2016! This year the Leadership Academy graduated 23 people and we expect those numbers to grow with the 2017 cohort!

Resident and Community Organizing Program (RCOP) Committee

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Foundational to RCOP’s efforts is our model of ‘building-based organizing’, where we support residents’ organizing efforts at their respective communities as a way of deepening and growing our resident member base. The RCOP Committee formalizes resident voice into EBHO’s organizational structure through monthly meetings organized and facilitated by resident leaders. These meetings provide the space for residents who are leaders in their community or an EBHO campaign to learn about each other’s work and involvement, exchange strategies for organizing in their buildings, and practice their organizing skills through facilitation, event planning, project development, and more. In 2016, with a group of 15 strong leaders, the committee drafted and adopted by-laws as well as welcomed new members and made the decision to rotate location every month to visit affordable housing communities across Oakland. The committee also housed the ‘Resident Empowerment Project’ and ‘Housing Bond and Measure JJ’ Subcommittees.


Resident Empowerment Project

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Many residents gladly support efforts to increase revenue sources that have impacted their lives. Some of these same residents also express concerns regarding their housing conditions. It is from these conversations, over a number of years, that the Resident Empowerment Project was born. RCOP leaders see EBHO as a place where they can get support on issues that are unique to non-profit housing development issues. As residents discussed these issues, it became clear that residents were asking for education in understanding the complexity of living in non-profit affordable developments and public housing. The Resident Empowerment Project (REP) Project was in a research phase in 2016, and in 2017 will produce a toolkit for residents as well as a series of train-the-trainer workshops to equip resident leaders to support their peers in organizing effectively in the communities where they live.

A Weeklong Celebration for Affordable Homes: 2016 Annual Affordable Housing Week & Guidebook

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During the week of May 13th-22nd EBHO hosted 17 great events in 6 cities, showcasing the countless ways we can collectively invest in homes and hope. Volunteers provided sweat equity to support affordable homeownership in Martinez. We envisioned new ways to improve access to affordable housing through shared housing in Walnut Creek. We honed our advocacy skills and prepared to take direct action for housing justice in Oakland and in Alameda. Residents honored on-site affordable housing staff and EBHO welcomed the 2016 Leadership Academy Graduates as leaders in the affordable housing movement in Oakland. We celebrated the importance of affordable housing and the hope it brings to the community for generations to come at tours, ground breakings, and grand openings from Oakland to Orinda, and with Proclamations across the East Bay.


Highlights from this year’s Affordable Housing Week included:

Estimated total attendance of over 1,500 people at 17 events

1,500 additional people reached through presentations at nearly 20 congregations during Housing Sabbath

Charlotte Rosen’s piece on Medium.com, “Why EBHO’s Investing in Homes and Hope this May — and how you can too.”

Over 350 guests at EBHO’s Affordable Housing Kickoff

1,500 Guidebooks distributed and resources guides available in Spanish, Mandarin and English

Participation and recognition by dozens of elected officials at all levels of government

Thanks so much to our generous 2016 Affordable Housing Week sponsors!


Want to get involved this year?  Mark your calendars for our 21st Annual Kick-Off Event on May 11, 2017 from 6-9 PM, at Classic Cars West Showroom in Oakland, and consider hosting an event, or submitting a building profile or resident story for the 2017-2018 Affordable Housing Week Guidebook.

Faith-Rooted Actions to End Displacement & Create Beloved Community



Interfaith Communities United

 The power of faith communities is twofold: They focus on “the least, the last, and the lost” in their social service and their social justice work and they remember, as Rev. Phil Lawson reminds us, that in the face of both short-term victories and short-term losses, our work is about something even bigger than housing for all people. Our work is about building a community where everyone’s gifts are honored and everyone’s needs are met, and everyone knows both love and dignity. In other words, we have our eyes on the Beloved Community.


Interfaith Communities United (ICU) Transition

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This year, our Interfaith Communities United (ICU) program underwent a transition in leadership as it said thank you to Rev. Sandhya Jha for her four years of passionate service towards housing justice. Her unique
ability to share her wisdom through skillful action, both collectively and as an individual, are an asset to the community.

To carry the torch, EBHO welcomed Pastor Demitrius Burnett as its new Interfaith Program Coordinator in May 2016. ​Demitrius came to EBHO as a recent graduate of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, where he earned a Certificate of Theological Studies and a Master of Divinity. Coupled with his work at EBHO, Demitrius also serves as the Youth Pastor of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, “Church Through the Roof” in Richmond, CA.

ICU White Paper: No Place for Faith


​​​​During Affordable Housing Week 2016, the ICU issued one final project under Rev. Jha through its white paper report entitled, “No Place for Faith.” This report, prepared by Rachel Thomson for East Bay Housing Organizations and Interfaith Communities United, seeks to reflect the community costs of displacement through the eyes of the faith community. The white paper contains interviews with faith leaders who have witnessed the impact of displacement in their faith communities. It also provides our partners a platform to spotlight innovative solutions to the challenge of housing for formerly incarcerated people who have limited access to housing options as well as the many other barriers to success they face. You can view the full report on our website.


Interfaith Communities United 12th Annual ICU Breakfast


“Building in a Dry Place: Redistributing Our Wells of Opportunity”

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In September, the ICU hosted its 12th Annual ICU Breakfast at First Congregational Church of Berkeley. The theme was, “Building in a Dry Place: Redistributing Our Wells of Opportunity.” Over 150 people from various faith traditions gathered to celebrate our shared work of building up the Beloved Community through affordable housing. You can see more photos from the 2016 Interfaith Breakfast here.

 Interfaith Council of Alameda County (ICAC)

 EBHO ICU has been a driving force in the formation of the Interfaith Council of Alameda County (ICAC). EBHO Interfaith Program Coordinator Demitrius Burnett currently serves on the interim board of directors. Stay tuned for more to come from this exciting coalition.

EBHO’s Membership Grows in 2016 – And We Gear Up for 2017

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Thanks to the EBHO members, allies and event sponsors who made for an inspiring and action-packed 2016 EBHO Annual Membership Meeting & Celebration! Approximately 150 people from all parts of the affordable housing community came together to reconnect, build community, and gear up for a year of affordable housing advocacy in 2017. We heard from EBHO members, board and staff all that we have accomplished together in 2016, and even took action right then and there on key affordable housing measures on the November 8th ballot! East Bay Voters said YES to affordable housing in historic local elections!


2016 Annual Membership Meeting Updates

 EBHO members also elected four members to the EBHO Board of Directors:


Stevi Dawson, EBHO Resident Leader & Member, Woody Karp, Eden Housing Inc., Amit Price-Patel, SITELAB urban studio, and Ellen Wu, Urban Habitat

Welcome, Stevi, Woody, Amit and Ellen! 

Further, EBHO members also re-elected Liz Varela (Building Futures for Women and Children) to her third term, as well as Kenneth Jones (LANDIS Development), Luis Rodriguez (Goldfarb & Lipman, LLP) and Sr. Marie Taylor, Board Vice President (Westlake Christian Terrace Resident Council) to their second two-year term. Excited to have you for another term, Liz, Kenneth, Luis, and Sr. Marie!

And thank you to our terrific outgoing EBHO Board Members Peggy Jen, EBHO Board Treasurer, (Bay Area LISC), Peter Waller (PYATOK Architects), and Rick Williams (Van Meter, Williams, Pollack LLP) for their years of Board leadership and investment in EBHO!

Many thanks to all those who pitched in to make it a great event, including: Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) for hosting our event at the beautiful Satellite Central, our generous sponsors, our fearless photographer, Alain McLaughlin, our amazing emcees, Board Vice-President Sr. Marie Taylor and Lilli Lew-Hailer, our Board of Directors and staff, and our committed and hardworking volunteers.

EBHO Membership Committee Meeting Dates:


East Bay Regional Policy Committee: Meetings held on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 9:30 – 11:30 am at TransForm, 436 14th St,. Suite 600, Oakland.

Contact Jeff at jeff@ebho.org.

Berkeley, Walnut Creek and Tri-City Sub-Committees: Contact Anthony at anthony@ebho.org

Oakland Committee: Committee meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month.

Please email gloria@ebho.org if you are interested in participating.

Resident & Community Organizing Committee: Contact Najla at najla@ebho.org

Interfaith Communities United for Affordable Housing (ICU) Committee: Contact Demitrius Burnett at demitrius@ebho.org


 EBHO appreciates the major supporters who made our work possible in 2016!