During the debate about the development of housing at Oak Knoll, in the hills of East Oakland, many in the community expressed the importance of including affordable housing in this area as well. Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan has been a long-time advocate for affordable housing and agreed with the expressed concerns, saying it is important to include affordable housing throughout our communities, both to expand the total supply of vitally-needed affordable housing, and to ensure that it is not segregated only into one area, but included throughout Oakland.
During the debate about Oak Knoll, Councilmember Kaplan asked for, and successfully received, an amendment to make it possible to include affordable housing in that area. Councilmembers agreed to Kaplan’s amendment removing a zoning provision that had been included by the administration, which would have prevented the development of affordable housing in the area by zoning all of it exclusively for single-family detached homes, which are hard to provide on an affordable basis.
This week, Councilmembers Kaplan and Larry Reid successfully took the next step to provide affordable housing in the Oak Knoll area, introducing a request at the council’s Rules Committee, which would direct the administration to issue a Request for Proposals for the development of affordable housing on the 5.4-acre parcel of property owned by the City of Oakland, known as the “Barcelona” parcel, at Oak Knoll.
This item was scheduled for the Dec. 5 Community Economic Development (CED) Committee.
“It is vital that we expand development of affordable housing, to reduce displacement and maintain the vibrancy and diversity of our community,” said Kaplan. “Because we need thousands more affordable housing units than we have, we must expand our horizons to make more publicly-owned parcels throughout our community available for affordable housing development.”
She added, “By making the city-owned Barcelona parcel available for affordable housing, we can ensure that Oak Knoll is inclusive of all of our community, and expand affordable housing development throughout Oakland.”