Public Advocates Inc. takes a lead role in ensuring residential development projects in Oakland comply with affordable housing development regulations.
Contra Costa Times
July 16, 2015
Organizations mentioned/involved: Public Advocates Inc.
A leaked memo from City Attorney Barbara Parker has forced Oakland’s City Council to pause approval of a controversial development deal to build market-rate condos. The confidential legal opinion given to council members in a closed session advised that the city was violating the state’s surplus land act by not first offering city-owned land to affordable housing developers.
“Barbara Parker’s memo is pretty unequivocal,” said David Zisser, a staff attorney with Public Advocates Inc. Zisser also stated that the city is bowing to political pressure from community activists, who took over City Hall in a May protest against this deal, as well as threats of lawsuits from Public Advocates.
According to Zisser, other developers with interest in building affordable housing at the site now have 60 days to express their intent to lease or buy the land.
Preference should be given to developers proposing 100 percent affordable housing projects, or proposals with at least 25 percent affordable housing for low-income residents, Zisser said. The surplus land law requires at least 15 percent affordable housing.
“We’re going to be watching to see how the city goes through the required steps of the Surplus Lands Act, all the way through,” he said. “That includes good faith negotiations with affordable housing developers.”Tags: Community Economic Development, Housing