Kaplan Proposes Solutions for Oakland’s Lack of Affordable Housing

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Rebecca Kaplan, president of the Oakland City Council, has called for hearing on impact fees to address the “emergency need to create housing at all income levels to sustain the city’s economic diversity and viability.”

Kaplan announced that the hearing and the report of the impact fees will be heard as an informational report on Nov. 12th at the Oakland City Council in the Community & Economic Development Committee in Hearing Room 1 at City Hall beginning at 1:30 p.m.

To address the housing crisis created by Oakland’s higher-than-national average rents along with its inability to create permanently affordable housing units, she said “I am urging action to immediately deploy impact fees to develop affordable housing, because the impact fee money was to be one tool to combat displacement, but to date the funding is not being mobilized in a timely way to provide affordable housing.”

“The bottom line is that our city monies are not getting into the hands of those who are building affordable housing fast enough and now we are working against the clock as the State plans to release a sizable amount of tax credit funds in February,” said Kaplan.

“If we, as a city, don’t have our house in order, we’ll miss a tremendous opportunity to leverage matching funds from the state.  My resolution seeks to fast-track affordable housing dollars into the hands of affordable housing developers by the appropriation of permit fees assessed and obligated to support our affordable housing developers in securing financing,” she said.

According to reports cited by Kaplan “The City has surpassed its market rate construction goals by 203 percent, however, only 7 percent of all new construction are affordable. Therefore,  Oakland  is failing to meet its own goals in supporting the construction of permanently affordable housing units.”

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