New Poll: Homelessness and Lack of Affordable Housing Are Oaklanders Top Concerns


Eighty-five percent say they want to require developers to hire local workers first

Expressing broad unanimity, 92 percent of Oakland residents rank homelessness as an “extremely” or “very serious problem” in the city, followed closely by a lack of affordable housing at 87 percent, according to a new poll released today by the East Bay Residents for Responsible Development (EBRRD).

Most Oaklanders, 73 percent, believe that the pace of development in the city is “about right’ or “too slow,” but they don’t want indiscriminate building and would strongly prefer developments be built with community benefits.

 Eighty-one percent of residents ranked the cost of rent as an extremely or very serious problem, while 78 percent believe that long-term residents of Oakland being priced out of the housing market is an extremely or very serious problem.

The poll was conducted Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associations (FM3), a public policy-oriented opinion research firm that has offices in Oakland and Los Angeles, between Feb. 23 and Feb. 26. Four hundred Oakland voters who cast ballots in the November 2016 election were interviewed.

East Bay Residents for Responsible Development (EBRRD) paid for the poll. EBRRD is a coalition of the IBEW Local 595, Sheet Metal Workers Local 104, UA Sprinkler Fitters Local 483 and UA Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 342, representing 500 families in Oakland and 18,000 members in Northern California.

In other results   the condition of streets and roads was ranked by 76 percent of respondents as extremely or very serious, while 64 percent rank deteriorating infrastructure the same way.

Crime – usually concern among Oakland residents, crime was rated as an extremely or very serious issue by 64 percent of the city’s population.

Oaklanders are also deeply concerned about a lack of opportunity for local residents. Sixty-two percent say that the lack of opportunity for young people is an extremely or very serious issue in the city, while 72 percent express the same concern for people coming out of the criminal justice system.

Focusing on employment opportunities, 61 percent felt that a lack of good-paying jobs for local residents is also an extremely or very serious issue, while 78 percent say the same thing about a lack of housing that middle-income families can afford.

Despite the majority of residents feeling that development is moving at just about the right pace or too slow, they’d rather developers provide community benefits for the community than build at all.

While favoring development, most Oaklanders want builders to agree to community benefits. A majority of resident, 52 percent, say that they would like all new housing in Oakland to provide community benefits, like affordable housing for the middle class and fair pay for workers, even if that means less housing is built overall.

Eighty-five percent say they would approve of requiring developers to hire local workers first.

Oakland residents say government bears the biggest responsibility for helping to solve the city’s housing problem.

Eighty-three percent of respondents say that the city government has a “major responsibility” to address the city’s housing problems, followed by elected officials (68 percent) and the state government (59 percent)

Fifty-five percent say that real estate developers bare either a major or “somewhat major” responsibility for addressing the housing issues in Oakland.

Through critical of local government, residents give the City of Oakland a 46 percent favorable rating versus a 39 percent unfavorable rating. Sixteen percent had no opinion.

Mayor Libby Schaaf enjoys a 54 percent favorability rating among Oakland residents, while 41 percent or residents rated their individual City Council members favorably.

Fifty-one percent have an unfavorable view of real estate developers.


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