Housing and Homelessness Platform

Housing and Dignity for All

The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing described the homelessness crisis in our city as "systemic cruelty.” We have a moral obligation to immediately provide safe, dignified shelter for ALL while we work to build truly affordable housing for our working and middle class families.

Stop the Hemorrhaging of Affordable Housing

We cannot immediately build our way out of this crisis because we are losing more affordable housing units than we can possibly replace with new construction. This means we must:

  • Adopt limits on short-term rentals so that landlords cannot turn apartment buildings into unlicensed hotels.

  • Strengthen the condo conversion ordinance by working to close the “conversion rights” loophole that allow “rights” to be bought from other projects.

  • Implement a moratorium on the loss of Single-Room-Occupancy (SRO) residential hotels and mobilize City resources to preserve the affordable SROs we still have. This would include working to bring back into use some SROs that have already closed.

  • Regulate existing short-term rentals in order to direct the transient occupancy tax (TOT) revenue from these properties to support affordable housing.

  • Implement stronger renter assistance and protections, and work together with stakeholders to dramatically improve the City’s ability to prevent displacement and help renters in crisis.

  • Actively expand the number of landlords accepting Section 8 by:

    • Adopting an Oakland rental tax exemption for property owners who rent through Section 8.

    • Creating a requirement to accept section 8 on public lands projects.

    • Offering funding for property owners to rehab properties on condition of accepting Section 8.

    • Expand public outreach and education through the mayor’s office to encourage property owners to participate in Section 8.

    • Expand use of "project-based Section 8" to develop affordable housing that takes Section 8, including through public lands and measure KK funds.

    • Adopt a city ordinance to prevent Section 8 voucher discrimination.

House our Homeless

We are in a state of emergency. We must immediately move those who are sleeping on the streets into shelter. This means we must use our public lands for tiny homes and other creative housing solutions while we convert City-owned buildings to provide for transitional housing and wrap-around services.

As much of the available funding rests with Alameda County, I will partner with the County on expanded homeless services, including allowable RV-sites and our Interfaith Council strategy to use congregational property for safe parking.

I will also use my influence to encourage the inclusion of County-owned properties in our effort to make public lands available for housing, and I will commit to coordinating personally with stakeholders at the County in order to help remedy some of the disconnect between City and County actions.

Create Truly Affordable Housing for ALL Oaklanders

Oakland has fallen very far behind with regard to our affordable housing development needs. We must:

  • Make public lands available for affordable housing development.

  • Streamline permitting, and allowing, where practical, greater height/density and reduced parking (especially on transit corridors) for affordable housing projects.

  • Make sure that funds available for affordable housing, including Measure KK, are distributed in a timely fashion.

  • Work with the County, the State of California and regional partners to allocate more resources to our housing crisis.

  • Make the most of our “opportunity zones” program. This means:

    • Designating funding for affordable housing.

    • Providing anti-displacement and renter assistance programs, and ensuring that projects come with benefit agreements.

    • Increasing funding for affordable housing including a reexamination of our current fee schedule to ensure that it is in alignment with other cities in the region. (For example, City of Oakland fees average $20,000 per unit, while Fremont’s fees average $80,000.)

    • Ensuring that future development comes with community benefit agreements that are directly linked to the production of low-income and affordable housing.

    • Exploring revenue-generating projects for public land that is not suitable for affordable housing. We will look to model after innovations in other cities that have used public lands to generate revenue that can be used to help finance housing efforts.