It was a packed house on Wednesday night as the best and the brightest advocates, planners, and community leaders gathered at TransForm with one thing on their mind: preventing displacement in Oakland.
As costs of living and real-estate pressures rise, displacement is one of the region’s most pressing issues, especially for low-income residents and people of color. There is no single solution to displacement.
However, impact fees - a flat fee paid by new development to pay for impacts of development - are emerging as a very promising strategy for Oakland.
East Bay Housing Organizations Executive Director Gloria Bruce summed it up in her presentation: “Impact fees are one tool in the tool box that is needed to fix the affordable housing shortage in Oakland.”
Linda Hausrath of the Hausrath Economics Group (and lead consultant for the Nexus & Feasibility Analysis) shared the process that the city of Oakland will go through to find the “sweet spot” between funding affordable homes and incentivizing new development. This process begins with a Nexus Study and an Economic Feasibility Study. Throughout this process, TransForm will be a vocal advocate to ensure community inclusion and representation.
When the studies are completed (by early 2016), community stakeholders and city council members will decide how the funding should be divided among the proposed categories. In the City of Oakland, there are eight proposed categories for impact fees, which include affordable homes and transportation. EBHO is hoping that a sizable portion is allocated to affordable housing, and TransForm supports this effort.
We will be continuing on discussion of impact fees at the Oakland Community Investment Alliance meeting on Friday June 5 from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. at East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) offices at 538 9th Street, Suite 200 in Oakland. TransForm will be there!
This conversation is just the beginning of the work TransForm and our allies are committed to in the coming year. We believe that all people have the right to affordable homes and great transportation, and will work to ensure that Oakland stays an inclusive place for people of all ages, abilities, colors, and incomes can call home!
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