Oakland mayor announces new plan to bring affordable housing to city

Mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, announced a new plan that aims to put a dent in the affordable housing issue that continues to grip the Bay Area. 

“What’s exciting about today’s announcement is a $260 million loan fund to help quickly build more affordable housing as well as to preserve existing housing and make it protected and affordable for those who live there or for just our working class folks,” Schaaf said on Tuesday from City Hall. 

Cranes dot the Oakland skyline which highlights that more housing is under construction in the city, but the main concern for longtime residents is that they are not within their price range. 

The mayor lashed out at other local governments that she said are not doing their part to create affordable housing for the residents of their community. 

“The level of NIMBY-ism. The level of red tape that different cities are imposing on new housing is hurting the whole Bay Area including the residents that live in those communities,” she said. 

One side effect of the rising cost of housing in the city is evident in the number of homeless encampments that are emerged under highway overpasses and in abandoned buildings. 

“These are not drifters,” the mayor insisted. “These are our neighbors, these are people that have called Oakland home for generations and we know how to get people out of homelessness, but this housing crisis is putting two people into homelessness for every person that we get houses and that is because of this affordability crisis.” 

The new fund will give developers and assist in creating homes that are more affordable for those who have continued to see themselves priced out.

“The Partnership for the Bay’s Future is an innovative giant tent that recognizes everyone has a role to play. Not just government, but philanthropy as well as the private sector,” said Mayor Schaaf. “It is honor to go out to the businesses that call Oakland home and encourage them to participate [in projects].” 

In 2016, the Oakland Housing Cabinet released a report it called “A Roadmap Toward Equity,” an affordable housing action plan.