What You Told Us...

In the past two weeks, many of you took to Facebook to express your opinions about our March 31 articles, “Homelessness and Lack of Affordable Housing Outrank Crime in List of Oaklanders’ Concerns,” “Uber in Trouble in Oakland” and “Not All Building is Good Building,” our thorough examinations of a recent poll conducted by the East Bay Residents for Responsible Development (EBRRD). Here’s what you told us: 

After reading “Homelessness and Lack of Affordable Housing Outrank Crime in List of Oaklanders’ Concerns,” many of you responded to the fact that 92 percent of Oakland residents rank homelessness as an “extremely” or “very serious problem” in the city, followed closely by a lack of affordable housing (87 percent).  Here’s what you told us: 

 “I was a part of those [homeless] stats for 23 years. But by God’s graces, I was blessed to be able to turn it around. I thought that by now a dent had been made in the number of homeless people living in the streets of Oakland. I am a veteran and this is what helped me to get off the streets. I began with Operation Dignity. They had just started a program for homeless vets, and it helped me to change my life around, plus getting off drugs… made it a success for me. If a person is serious about making a change, there are programs out there that will help you.” –Lenard T. 

“I have no issue with the homeless tents under the highway overpasses, but with those comes an absurd amount of trash and litter. It gets into the sewer drains, it is a public health hazard and a real blight. Wonder if we can find a balance there.” –Sara K.  

“Makes me sick to my stomach. I work in Oakland three times a week. I live check to check. It pains me to turn these[homeless] people down. It’s disgusting. Fix the problem.” –Danielle M.

“Oakland’s homeless problem is the lack of political will to address the underlying problems that cause it. ‘Free housing’ is not the solution, as not everyone is or should be entitled to it.” –Ron H. 

“The mayor should be ashamed of herself. Instead of worrying about the Raiders, worry about the homeless people and those who have Section 8 who can’t find housing because of the high cost of renting in Oakland.” –Deatrice B. 

“Let’s build some free housing!” – Tim S. 

Regarding Che Timmon’s Op-ed about the poll, entitled “Not All Building is Good Building,” which argued that the city government, real estate developers, labor unions and housing advocates should each do their part to help Oakland’s housing crisis, you told us: 

“Would really appreciate the trades getting together with the affordable housing developers and coming to terms so two good efforts are on the same page. Thanks. –Andy N.

Our article “Uber in Trouble in Oakland,” also got some interesting responses.  

In the article, Timmons pointed out that that 57 percent of Oaklanders have a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” impression of technology companies in general. However, 67 percent of respondents believe the companies have either a “major responsibility” or “some responsibility” for addressing the housing problems the city is facing. 

A Facebook commenter didn’t agree:

“How are tech companies responsible for housing? As Steve Jobs famously told the Cupertino City Council when asked about the possibility of free wi-fi during discussions about their new headquarters (paraphrasing): ‘We pay taxes. That's your job.’” - Patrick M.