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Oak Knoll Oakland Development Can Have Affordable Housing - Here’s How

Oak Knoll Oakland Development Can Have Affordable Housing - Here’s How - Video

Oak Knoll Oakland Development Can Have Affordable Housing - Here’s How Oak Knoll is the name of a planned development at what was a former military base: the medical facility ran by the U.S. Navy for years until the government elected to close it, and begin steps to transfer the property to the City of Oakland in 1992. (I was on the East Bay Conversion And Investment Committee on this matter in 1993, thanks to Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson.) Now, it's the focus of a planned housing development that has no affordable housing units – this at a time when such dwellings are more needed than ever in Oakland. The lack of affordable housing is of such concern (and because of the giant homeless problem it's casued) that 126 Oaklanders came to the Oakland City Council last night to talk about Oak Knoll's total lack of housing all but the well-off can afford. Even with the expressed concern, the resolution to approve the Oak Knoll Development Agreement passed, and now is headed for its' second and final reading and vote on November 28th. But this begs the question: can affordable housing be added to Oak Knoll? Absent redevelopment tax increment financing, the answer would appear to be no, and when I bring up using TIF to many Oakland Officials, the response I get is “we can't do that anymore.” Well, that is not true at all. Moreover, it has not been true for some time. On September 29th 2014, California Governor and former Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill No. 628 into law. What the law created by California Senator Jim Beall (D) San Jose, did, was to allow, among other things, the collection of property tax and use via tax increment financing for the creation of housing for low and moderate income purposes within a district that's designated by the City or County, and approved by 55 percent of the vote. Oakland, once the darling of the use of California Redevelopment for affordable housing, has not touched Senate Bill No. 628. It's time it did. Senate Bill No. 628 specifically names former military bases and installations like Oak Knoll in it's description, as well as pointing enabling and financing affordable housing. Oak Knoll should be modifed to employ the provisions of Senate Bill No. 628. Moreover, the City of Oakland should establish new 'enhanced redevelopment zones' under Senate Bill No. 628, and at various areas around Oakland. Stay tuned.
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