Our publisher, East Bay Residents for Responsible Development, has released an examination of Oakland’s major housing project approvals in 2017.
It found that despite a poll at the beginning of the year showing that Oakland residents wanted new housing that provided community benefits, such as affordable housing and fair pay for construction workers, the Oakland Planning Commission and Council approved seven major projects of 100+ units in 2017 that for the most part failed to provide these benefits.
• Of the seven major projects’ 3,426 units, just 99 units, or 2.9 percent, were deemed affordable by city standards.
• The projects approved could create as many as 3,321 construction jobs and up to 2,000 more when including indirect and induced jobs.
• Of the 3,321 construction jobs being created by these projects, just 1,556 are expected to go to workers in Alameda County. Some 1,765 will go toward workers outside the county.
• Only one of the major projects approved has a project labor agreement guaranteeing it will be built with union labor.
In 2018, Oakland’s government must be more responsive to the needs of Oakland residents when approving housing projects. It must set a path forward that respects Oakland’s workers and tells developers that if their projects are going to significantly alter the city, they need to contribute more toward maintaining Oakland’s existing vibrancy.