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Oakland Rents Rise Astronomically, Long-term Home Owners Face Foreclosure

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While numbers of overall foreclosures in Oakland are decreasing, they are more and more affecting people who have lived in their homes for 10 or more years, according to a quarterly City of Oakland report on housing issues.

In addition, contributing to gentrification, rent increases are rising off the charts. “New rents in crime-heavy neighborhoods (are) rising to $2,200 (per month),” according to the report released Tuesday at the city’s Community and Economic Development Committee (CED) meeting.

Asingle-earner family with an income of $13.75 per hour would “have to make 207 percent more to reasonably afford the rent,” the report said.

Much of the change housing market, including the decline in foreclosures, can be attributed to new state and federal laws that provide homeowners at least some level of protection, according to Margaretta Lin, Strategic Initiatives Managers of the city’s Housing and Community Development department.

“It’s been about a year since the national mortgage settlement agreement has been implemented, and about nine months since our state homeowner bill of rights has been implemented. That have been some major shifts and transitions in our housing market,” she said.

However, she said, “We continue to see intense impact on longtime homeowners. At the height of the subprime mortgage crisis in Oakland, families that were in crisis had owned their homes for less than two years. Today the majority of families in Oakland in foreclosure have owned their homes for at least 10 years.”

“Many of the clients we working with have owned their homes for decades,

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