With the loss of over 36,000 African Americans since 2000 – a 26% population decline – Oakland is the national epi-center for displacement and racial inequity. The recent surge in homelessness, a 39% increase in 2 years, is a direct result of the lack of sufficient investment in preventing displacement.
Did you know that :
- An ounce of prevention is better than a ton of cure: it costs $500 to keep a family in their home versus $500,000 to build a new housing unit or $100,000 per person to provide homeless wrap-around services. And most of all, we can prevent human suffering and trauma from losing one’s home and slipping into homelessness or displacement.
- Investing in anti-displacement prevents homelessness: Oakland recently passed policies to protect tenants – Measure JJ and the Tenant Protection Ordinance. But what’s needed to make these protections real is funding front line housing defenders, housing counselors and lawyers, as well as emergency housing funds to help cover rent during a financial setback or for security deposit. There are over 3,500 tenants facing evictions annually who do not have legal representation. And there are over 9,000 Oakland elderly homeowners, disproportionately African American, who are at risk of losing their homes.
- City funds are available for anti-displacement: The City of Oakland has $5 million available over the next 2 years, housing boomerang funds used to build affordable housing that can be used instead to keep people in their homes and prevent more homelessness. Through new housing bond measures and new housing impact fee, the City will have over $200 million for affordable housing development. But it will take time to build more units, meanwhile people are losing their homes every day. By funding anti-displacement, these funds could prevent displacement of over 6,000 tenants and 300 homeowners!
The Oakland City Council can act right now to prevent further displacement and homelessness but it will take people power and action! Call the City Council and tell them:
“Fund proven anti-displacement and homelessness prevention strategies-housing counseling, legal services, and emergency housing funds for low-income tenants and homeowners”
Contact information of Oakland City Council:
Council President Larry Reid, District 7, (510) 238-7529
CM Lynette McElhaney , District 3, (510) 238-7003
CM Desley Brooks , District 6, (510) 238-7006
CM Dan Kalb , District 1, (510) 238-7001
CM Annie Campbell-Washington , District 4, (510) 238-7004
CM Rebecca Kaplan , At Large, (510) 238-7308
CM Abel Guillen , District 2, (510) 238-7002
CM Noel Gallo , District 5, (510) 238-7005