Oakland mayor considers charging other cities homeless fee

Mayor Sheng Thao is contemplating the implementation of a fee for other cities if their homeless residents relocate to Oakland. 

In an interview with The San Francisco Examiner, the mayor raised the possibility of this proposal, which is currently in its preliminary stage. How it would be implemented or enforced has not even been discussed at this point. 

Still, the idea behind the fee is to serve as a deterrent for other cities, discouraging them from sending their homeless population to Oakland. Additionally, the fee aims to help recover some of the expenses incurred by Oakland on programs and initiatives for the homeless.

Advocates who support the rights of the homeless highlight that a majority of Oakland's unhoused population, which stands at around five thousand individuals, are native residents of the city. They assert that these individuals were born and raised in Oakland.

Surveys show that nearly 80% of the city’s homeless population is from Oakland.

The mayor’s office told The Chronicle on Thursday that it’s a "preliminary idea" that Thao may explore down the road after Oakland makes more progress on moving its current unhoused residents into shelter and housing.