UPDATE January 12, 2020 12:24pm:Oakland’s affordable housing development project is set to cost an additional $3 million and will add 1,300 units, but the city says that is a drop in the bucket compared to what’s needed to build affordable housing.
The city’s housing department announced Thursday it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bay Area Renters’ Coalition for the Oakland Housing Authority’s $3,800-per-month affordable housing rental housing program.
Oakland Housing Authority spokeswoman Jennifer McElroy says the agreement gives the community’s homeowners a better option than the current two-bedroom rental market, and the city is committed to creating affordable housing in Oakland.
McElroy tells KTVU the affordable housing will be available to homeowners with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level and to low-income renters with incomes of less than 300 percent of that level.
The affordable housing program is a partnership between the city of Oakland and the Bay-Delta Regional Council, an association of city and county officials.
It’s funded through a $1.3 billion bond issue approved in May.
Oakville Mayor Libby Schaaf says the city has worked hard to create a housing system that works for all of the people in the community.
She says the affordable program will be a good addition to Oakland’s affordable community and will create jobs for thousands of people in a region that is already experiencing a housing shortage.
“We’re not a very diverse community,” Schaaf told KTVu.
“So, you’re creating a really diverse pool of talent to fill that void.
And I think that will be really helpful to all of us.”
Schaaf says a lot of the work that went into creating affordable apartments is not being completed.
She says that in the past year, the city’s population has increased by 9,000 people.
Oaklands Housing Authority Director of Planning Scott Smith tells KTCU that the affordable units will be in the form of single-family homes, two- and three-bedroom homes, and townhomes.
They’ll cost around $2,300 per month.
OakLAND, a city with an aging population, needs a lot more affordable housing, Smith says.
The city currently has more than 5,000 units of housing, which is about half the number of units needed.
“So, we’re going to be able to get that number of affordable units that we need to get through the program,” he says.
The program is one of a number of initiatives the city plans to tackle.
In November, the council approved $2 million in bonds to help fund the $5 million affordable community building project, which will be constructed on the city-owned property known as the East Bay City Center.
The housing authority will spend $1 million of the money it raises through the bond issue to renovate and expand existing affordable housing on a vacant site on East Oakland Boulevard.
Smith says the project will create 1,200 units.
Schaaff says the affordability program will help residents who can’t afford to rent but are looking for affordable housing to rent.