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Most Blacks Locked Out of Market as California Median Home Cost Soars Past $800,000

“California desperately needs more housing to meet the needs of diverse middle-class and low-income Californians,” Dave Walsh, president of CAR, said during a virtual news conference on May 20. “With a historic budget surplus, now is the time to address the racial divide in homeownership and fix California’s severe housing shortage.”

Photo Credits: Wiktor Karkocha

Yes The California Association of Realtors (CAR), the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), and Habitat for Humanity California have joined together to urge lawmakers to make additional investments in this year’s state budget toencourage developers to build more homes across California.

    This is the only way, they insist, to solve two of the state’smost stubborn problems: a critical housing shortage and ageneral lack of affordable housing.

    Those three organizations, along with a coalition of homebuilders, racial justice activists and homeownership advocates, are also calling for investments in the budget to address the racial gap in homeownership by increasing the housing supply at every income level. 

      Black and Latinx households are priced out of the market disproportionately, a CAR representative said. The median sales price of a home in California surged past a record $813,980 in April, and housing production stalled for the second consecutive year in 2020.

      “California desperately needs more housing to meet the needs of diverse middle-class and low-income Californians,” Dave Walsh, president of CAR, said during a virtual news conference on May 20. “With a historic budget surplus, now is the time to address the racial divide in homeownership and fix California’s severe housing shortage.”

      As home prices in California continue to set record highs, and only 1 in 4 Californians is able to afford a home priced at the median cost, investments in new housing supply would address severe disparities in homeownership and reverse decades of exclusionary housing policies, CBIA, CAR., and Habitat for Humanity California said in a joint statement.

     In February, CAR reported that housing affordability for the average Black household in California is 50% less than that of their white counterparts. Fewer than 1 in 5 Black California households were able to buy a $659,380 median-priced home in 2020.

      “To achieve the housing we need, our state must make the investment in creating housing opportunities for working Californians to access all forms of stable homeownership,” said Michael Gunning, senior vice president of Legislative Affairs for CBIA. “To close the racial homeownership divide, we must address segregation caused by explicit, historic government policies at the local, state, and federal level.”

      That figure is compared to 2 in 5 white households in the state who could buy the same dwelling. A minimum annual income of $122,800 was required to make a monthly payment ofover $3,000 on a fixed-rate mortgage.

     Homeownership is a key element to building generational wealth and it helps to stabilize communities. Homeownership rates are at their lowest in California since the 1940s. Black and Latinx households are twice as likely to rent properties as whiteCalifornians.

     CBIA, CAR, and Habitat for Humanity California say that the record state budget surplus this fiscal year creates a historic opportunity to address California’s housing crisis and invest in more housing inventory across the state. 

    Of the $9.3 billion allocated to housing in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed revise budget, only $725 million, or less than 8%, goes toward expanding homeownership opportunities with programs such as down payment assistance, CAR points out.

 

    “It is time for California to lead through action in Sacramento to address these painful truths about past housing policies and create a new housing future that works for everyone,” Gunning said. “That can start with the budget investments we’re calling for today.”

      The groups are requesting for additional budget investmentsin a number of areas that would create opportunities to expand the housing inventory in the state, including matching grants and tax credits to complement those proposed by the Biden Administration; tax credits for first-time and low and moderate-income buyers; and incentives to increase construction.

    “This is about the future of our state. This is about keeping more Californians from being cost-burdened and falling into homelessness,” Walsh said. “It’s about creating true housing equity for all Californians. Let’s come together to prioritize more ownership housing — it’s the right thing to do to ensure the American dream of homeownership doesn’t slip away for Californians who call the Golden State home.”

 

 

Community

West Oakland Food Giveaway Event a Success Through ‘Comm-Unity’

Common Unity is more than a slogan. It is the actual showing of what it means to be as one with the promise and actual example of itself. As one volunteer known as” Mr. Fab” said, “Community is nothing but common unity.”

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Photo Courtesy of Calle Macarone from Unsplash

First and foremost, I thank the Most High for making the June 5 “A Day of Giving,” a food and necessity giveaway a success. It was quite amazing to see all the sectors of our Oakland communities come together to make this event a fruitful and worthwhile effort at Ralph Bunche School and de Fremery Park in West Oakland from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

It was a volunteer-inspired effort that I describe as ‘Comm-Unity,’ which simply means common unity because it matters not what part of town you’re from. Whether a volunteer identified as a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Catholic and or as a non-believer, it only mattered that they all had one reason and one common goal, which was to just serve others in need.

What was remarkable was the participation of those who were formerly incarcerated. Some members of this segment of the community showed up with their families and children and showed out by volunteering along with businesspersons and clergymen to help feed needy families.

The lines of vehicles stretched for more than one-and-a-half miles. More than 900 vehicles that had presented the Post newspaper coupon or had registered at the website address were presented with boxes of food and supplies. More than 200 volunteers loaded each vehicle after giving each driver a choice of a selection of the 52 different food items and household cleaning supplies on various pallets. Deliveries were also made to some elderly residents who did not have vehicles. The remaining food and supplies were distributed to non-profits that serve the needy.

A special shout out to the Oakland Post Newspaper Group, Trybe, Deeply Rooted, Ronald Muhammad, Ear Hustle, John Ya Ya Johnson, Missy Percy, Jamil Wilson, Attorney Anne Wells, ROC’S Richard Corral, Lee Oliveres, Jesus P. Peguero, Ricky “Styles” Ricardo, Paul Redd, Savior Charles, OG riders Arnold Torres, Gabe Zuniga, Rudy Yanez, Rolando Coffman; Janelle Marie Charles of Epsilon Phi Zeta, Mrs. Marsha Woodfork of Zeta Amicae of the Epsilon Phi Zeta, the Black Firefighters Association, Felicia Bryant, Mr. Fab’s Dope Era Clothing Store, Cesar Cruz’s Homie’s Empowerment, The Oakland Gumbo Cultural Group, Amina Nicole, Queen Johnson, Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, Walter Culp and the entire staff of West Side Missionary Baptist Church, who helped with organizing, rental/warehouse space,  equipment rentals, insurance expenses, obtaining  permits, food donations, refrigeration vans and donation of funds, and purchases such as walkie-talkies, pallet jacks, forklifts, portable toilets, laborers, social media posts and recruitment of volunteers.

Several elected Officials, including the District 3 Councilmember Carroll Fife, clergymen, community leaders, community investors and local entertainers lent their support by volunteering to serve our community families in need.

We will continue to work with the Oakland Post Newspaper Group, to make June 5 “A Day of Giving” event a model for future giveaways of necessities that included boxes of oatmeal, fruits and vegetables including corn, green beans, pinto beans, chili beans, peas, pears, mixed peas & carrots, potato chips, gold fish and animal crackers, zoo crackers, Cheez-Its, cups of mixed fruits, granola bars, mac and cheese, Welch’s fruit snacks, canned pears, canned peaches, gallons of olive oil, whole chickens, varieties of luncheon meats (roast beef, turkey, sliced cheese), mixed nuts, Belvita breakfast cookies, Ritz crackers, canned chicken, spaghetti, whole wheat and white pasta, dry pinto beans, cases of bottled water, canned tuna, impossible burgers, masks, gallons of bleach, laundry detergent, surface cleaners, large rolls of toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, toothbrushes, baby wipes, dishwashing liquid, body wash, dental floss and boxes of peanut butter.

I was moved by the tears and shouts of joy from some families and children when they were showered with boxes of food and cleaning supplies that literally loaded down their vehicles. One mother said she was accustomed to receiving one bag or a box of food that could last for a day or a week, but she never dreamed that she would be given enough food and cleaning supplies to last for months.

I pray that this approach of providing a sustainable amount of food that was inspired by the leadership of Mrs. Egypt Ina Marie King will shine as the beacon of hope, pride and promise before our God Almighty. Nothing is greater than the powers of God and when our hearts are focused on freely serving others, we then are giving praises to God.

I thank Rev. Ken Chambers and the Interfaith Council of Alameda County (ICAC) for coordinating a pop-up, drop-in clinic in a tent to provide COVID-19 vaccination shots during our food give-away.

Common Unity is more than a slogan. It is the actual showing of what it means to be as one with the promise and actual example of itself. As one volunteer known as” Mr. Fab” said, “Community is nothing but common unity.”

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Business

Go Fund Geoffrey’s

Whether it was Paul Mooney, Faye Carroll, Sugar Pie or Jay-Z performing or whether it was Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Mayor Elihu Harris, or Kamala Harris along with many of the Bay area’s elected officials they too have come to bask in the limelight of Geoffrey’s Inner Circle.

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Geoffrey's Inner Circle

For more than 30 years Geoffrey Pete ‘s business, Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, has been a cultural hub because of its full-service restaurant, live entertainment, nightclub parties, jazz music and community special occasion events. Faith-based organizations have also rented the spacious facilities for services and concerts. Their full-service restaurant, bar and live entertainment business along with their tenants and multilevel event rental spaces have been severely interrupted and devastated by the COVID 19 lockdowns and restrictions.

Whether it was Paul Mooney, Faye Carroll, Sugar Pie or Jay-Z performing or whether it was Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Mayor Elihu Harris, or Kamala Harris along with many of the Bay area’s elected officials they too have come to bask in the limelight of Geoffrey’s Inner Circle. Now those lights are dimmed due to the economic conditions that have descended on high intensity people-contact businesses.

Thanks to a group of customers and supporters a Go Fund Me page has been opened for the public to contribute to support Geoffrey’s Inner Circle https://gofund.me/b2541419.

The Post newspaper has notified the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce that regular articles concerning the needs of Geoffrey’s and other Black-owned Businesses will be published weekly.

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Bay Area

Juneteenth Freedom Celebration, Hayward

Saturday, June 19, 2021 10 A.M. – 2 P.M. at Hayward City Hall Plaza, 777 B Street, Hayward, Calif.

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Juneteenth Flyer
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