Alameda says "Yes" to Affordable Housing

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Shinsei Gardens, an affordable development in the City of Alameda by Resources for Community Development

Thanks to tireless local advocates, the City of Alameda finally adopted a Housing Element on July 3, setting a new course after a nearly four-decade ban on the building of multi-family housing. Renewed Hope Housing Advocates, with support from Public Advocates, Public Interest Law Project, and EBHO, worked with supportive city staff to identify sites for multi-family housing and to develop a new Multi-Family Overlay Zone.

The multi-family zone is a real breakthrough for Alameda, where a measure passed in 1973 forbade construction of any residential building larger than two units. Since 1999, Renewed Hope has been battling to save old Navy housing near Alameda College for rehabbed affordable units, went on to sue the city successfully for 25 percent affordable housing at Alameda Point and then pushed for this last goal, a housing element.

Passage of the element is a good sign that Alameda's climate will be much more receptive to affordable housing in the future. The next step is to work on the Alameda Point plan to ensure the 25 percent affordable housing mandate at the Point is an integral piece of the city's plans to develop the former navy base. EBHO will continue to work with Renewed Hope on this effort.

EBHO members, including Board President Darin Lounds, gave powerful testimony at the Planning Commission and the City Council hearings. Members of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church, inspired by EBHO's Housing Sabbath, also attended and testified. This victory honors the legacy of Eve Bach, who worked on this effort with Renewed Hope for many years.

See more media coverage at The Bay Citizen and KQED radio.