Council wants to redirect fees to pay for housing for $100,000-a-year renters, not low-income.
For two years, East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) members have been advocating for Oakland to pass a strong housing impact fee, which the Council will consider on Tuesday, April 19.
A housing impact fee, a one-time fee paid by market-rate developers, could generate tens of millions of dollars to later build affordable homes in Oakland.
Yet, despite having declared a housing emergency, Oakland is poised to greatly diminish the fee’s ability to serve workers and families who need this housing most.
According to housing advocates, not only is the proposed fee phased in too slowly and at far lower levels than neighboring cities, the City Council’s Community and Economic Development (CED) Committee recently approved changes that would allow the fee to target higher income households making as much as $100,350 a year.
It also allows developers to build moderate-income apartments instead of paying the fee or building lower income homes.
Yet more than two-thirds of Oakland renters are considered lower income, earning under $40,000 a year, while only 15 percent qualify as moderate income.
Three-quarters of lower income renters, who are disproportionately African-Americans, pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent. Fewer than 10 percent of moderate-income renters have overpayment problems, according to a US Census survey.
EBHO urges people to go to the City Council meeting at City Hall Tuesday, April 19 at 5:30 p.m., to pass an impact fee for lower income households.