Oakland to provide tiny-home shelters in vacant lot ahead of winter weather, heat included

Many of the residents of a tent encampment on East 12th Street near the Alameda County Courthouse, will soon be moving right next door into what the city is calling Lakeview Village.

It's 65 tiny homes on a city-owned lot that's been vacant for years.

The tiny homes will add to the almost 200 beds in double-occupancy community cabins spread across five different Oakland locations.

But this is by far the largest single community of tiny homes. And there are differences between these homes and the cabins.

"These are single occupancy, which is very important with COVID. And there are more physical amenities including the ability to have heat, allow people to have pets, allow people to have visitors," says Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas.

The idea behind the tiny homes is to move people from nearby tent encampments and provide residents with not just shelter, but case managers who can help them access social services and above all, housing.

Oakland says about 65% of those in community cabins graduated into either permanent or transitional housing.

"There are many reasons people become homeless even when they are working, so we want to make sure we are addressing people's economic needs," Bas said.

The lot where the tiny homes sit is slated for a proposed development project. If the project goes through, the city says it will move the homes to another location.

Homeless outreach workers expect to begin moving people by mid-November.