Oakland Community Investment Alliance

Oakland Community Investment Alliance

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Read more about OCIA here!

Housing Impact Fee in Oakland 

The Oakland Community Investment Alliance is currently fighting for a strong affordable housing impact fee in Oakland. RSVP for our November 19th Housing Fee Now! Rally, check out our infographic below to learn how an impact fee works, and click here for some FAQs on impact fees!

To help win a meaningful impact fee, join the Oakland Community Investment Alliance today! Contact Matt Leber at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (615) 414-3788 for information. 

We need YOU to help us win a strong housing impact fee in Oakland on January 26th!

► Can you attend the Community and Economic Development Committee at 1:00pmon Tuesday January 26th? Hear the City Administration's staff report on the impact fee and let Oakland elected leaders know that we need a strong housing fee now, and before it's too late. If you are willing to speak, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and sign up here (Online speaker cards are required!)

Speak Out for a Housing Fee Now in Oakland!
Tuesday, January 26th, 2015
Note the time change! 1:00 to 4:00 PM
*Impact fee discussion likely complete by 2:30 PM*
Community and Economic Development Committee, Hearing Room 4
*If you're planning to attend and speak, please sign up to speak here (online speaker cards are required!) and show up by 1pm and expect that Impact Fees will be discussed with public testimony and a motion in the first hour.*

 Can you call or email your Council Person and Council Member At-Large Rebecca Kaplan? Sample email and council person contact information below!


Sample Email to your Councilperson and Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan:
Dear Councilmember X,
We are in a housing crisis of epic proportions, and Oakland cannot wait any longer to invest in affordable homes. In order to Oakland to benefit from the current wave of new development, the City needs a strong housing impact fee that starts at $20,000 and begins no later than July 2016. 
A strong housing impact fee will help Oakland grow inclusively and will not kill development. Of the 7,400 market homes that are in the active Oakland development pipeline, we know that over 4,100 of them will not be touched by the impact fee because they already have building permits or because they are legally exempt due to vested development rights. This makes it clear that the impact fee will not KILL development, while helping to build much-needed affordable homes. 
Additionally, there should not be a reduced impact fee for areas that have already received developer incentives. For example, there are market-rate development incentives in the Specific Plans such as Coliseum Area and West Oakland, as well as the BRT International Avenue Corridor. Will you ensure additional incentives for market-rate development (such as a reduced impact fee) only apply to areas that don't already have developer incentives, and will you advocate for Zone 3 to be more appropriately redrawn to begin between High Street and the San Leandro Border and between 580 and 880?
We applaud Councilmember Kaplan for taking a stand and calling for a $25,000 housing impact fee. Will you join her in this call? 
While a housing impact fee is not the silver bullet, it will help build an additional 400 to 600 new affordable homes over the next 5 years, and is a critical part of the solution. 
Thanks for your time,
[Your name]
Find out who you councilmember is hereAnd remember, Councilmember Kaplan is everyone's councilmember.
Councilmember Contact information:
District 1 - Councilmember Dan Kalb 
Ph: (510) 238-7001
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
District 2 - Councilmember Abel Guillen
Ph: (510) 238-7002
District 3 - Councilmember Lynette McElhaney 
Ph: 510-238-7003
District 4 - Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington
Ph: (510) 238-7004
District 5 - Councilmember Noel Gallo
Ph: (510) 238-7005
District 6 - Councilmember Desley Brooks
Ph: (510) 238-7006 (office)
District 7 - Councilmember Larry Reid
Ph: (510) 238-7007
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Councilmember - At-Large Rebecca Kaplan - Be sure to thank her for calling to set the impact fee at $25,000!
Ph: (510) 238-7008
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OCIA infographic

Housing Impact Fee FAQs

What is an impact fee?

An impact fee is charged by a city to make sure private developers pay their fair share in mitigating the needs for housing, services and infrastructure created by their new development.  When new market-rate housing is developed, it brings in new, affluent residents. These residents need goods and services – and that means new low-wage or service sector jobs.  The retail workers, childcare providers, and other people in these jobs can’t afford market-rate housing, so new development increases the need for affordable housing. To address this need, a city requires a developer to take part of his or her profits and pay a fee to help create affordable homes. 

What can it pay for? What can’t it pay for?

An impact fee can pay for community needs directly created by new development, like affordable housing, street repair, or parks.  We believe that all community needs are important but that Oakland should follow the lead of other cities and dedicate most of an impact fee to the dire need of affordable housing (parks and other services should be a part of our budget from the start!)   An impact fee can’t directly pay for all of our housing needs, such as improvements to older homes, but it can help to meet the constantly growing need for new affordable homes, so that a city has more funding to address a range of housing issues.

What is a nexus study and what does it have to do with this?

Before adopting an impact fee, a city is legally required to prove that there is a connection between new market-rate development and increased need for affordable housing. An analysis called a “nexus study” shows how big this connection or impact is, and this informs the maximum fee that can be passed.  Cities will also study how much of a fee is economically feasible – and then use those studies in the political process to adopt a fee.  And that’s where our voice comes in! 

How much money could we get for this? What will it mean? 

A varied group of Bay Area cities including Fremont, San Francisco, Mountain View, Walnut Creek, Santa Rosa, Berkeley, San Jose, Daly City and Emeryville have adopted housing impact fees. Fremont and Santa Rosa both charge around $20 per square foot of new development. Emeryville charges $20,000 per new unit.  A fee like this won’t solve the whole problem, but it could result in significant funding for affordable housing.  If a fee had been in effect during the last housing boom, we could have built 1,000 to 2,000 additional affordable homes.

About OCIA

The Oakland Community Investment Alliance is a campaign of of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO), TransForm, Public Advocates, and Greenbelt Alliance. OCIA's mission is to engage Oakland residents in creating a more prosperous, resilient and healthy city, especially in areas with transit opportunities targeted for more intense development. We aim to shift the culture and practice of development, by promoting policies that ensure that development and growth brings clear, predictable opportunities for creating affordable homes, quality jobs, excellent transit options, and improved community health.

Principles and Values

While Priority Development Areas prioritize development, Oakland Community Investment Areas would prioritize people by incorporating the following principles and values:

1. Development for People: Oakland will be more resilient, prosperous and healthy when development addresses the city's history of disinvestment and inequity and builds economic opportunity for all residents. 

2. Capturing Land Value for the Public Good: Public investment and government actions are major dirvers of increases in land value. Recapturing this value in the community - rather than lettering it fall to a few landowners and developments - can bring benefits like affordable homes, living wage jobs, imporved transit, and a healthier environment. 

3. No Displacement: Current residents are a key constituency and their displacement or removal would diminish Oakland. They should have the opportunity to stay in the communities where they work, go to school, celebrate their cultural heritage and religion, and have family and friends. They should not be displaced and forced to commute long distances, which undermines civic engagement and environmental health. 

4. Access to Resources: People of all income levels deserve to live in safe, affordable housing with access to affordable and quality transit, living wage jobs, and services. 

5. Addressing Community Needs: Development policies and decisions should be based on critical assessment of the particular housing, employment, and transit needs of disadvantaged communities (including low income people of color and immigrants) and on the impacts - positive or negative - of proposed projects on those needs. 


6. Building and Honoring Community Power: Grassroots organizing is essential to community-driven development. Meaningful stakeholder involvement extends beyond the opportunity to speak at public hearings: residents, workers, faith communities, community-based organizations and other stakeholders must have both the information and the capacity to participate effectively in and to influence every stage of the development process, including creating a vision for how development should happen, decision-making, and implementation.