After more than an hour of emotional debate, Albany city officials voted late Tuesday night to evict a homeless encampment that has been located in a waterfront area called ‘The Bulb’ for several years.
The area behind the Golden Gate Fields race track is home to about 60 homeless who have built rather elaborate structures.
“We’re not homeless,” ‘The Bulb’ resident Amber Whitson told KTVU. “I’ve lived her for 6 ½ years – the same spot, same piece of land. I have a home.”
Officials want to clear out the encampment because it is in the process of turning over the piece of land to the East Bay Regional Park District.
But Whitson and others told officials they have nowhere else to go .
“I think we should be able to stay until they come up with housing,” she said. “Albany has no low-income housing.”
The council, citing Albany’s no-camping ordinance, ordered the police to begin the eviction next month.
Under a $30,000 contract approved by the council, a local church has been working with The Berkeley Food and Housing Project to find alternate housing for ‘The Blub’ residents.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.