Ray Connell 
Member since Dec 24, 2015


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Recent Comments

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

Do I understand this correctly? In March, OHA had only 19% of the 609 Sec. 8 vouchers used, and the vouchers are valued as high as $1,585? So there are 493 vouchers as high as $1,585 per month that go unused in Oakland. That is $9.38m annually! Where does this surplus go? Is this money being used in another way subsidize housing? And I guess the natural next question is that if OHA is only using 19% of their Section 8 housing vouchers, how will more money from impact fees provide more housing for those who don't qualify for income restricted housing, the Mr. Inouye of Oakland? It doesn't seem like more fees will create more usable/available units. On the contrary, it seems like more fees will make it harder to provide more housing... and lack of housing is the crisis right?

Posted by Ray Connell on 12/29/2015 at 4:17 PM

Re: “A Year of Development, Displacement, and Inaction

Are the below market rate (BMR) units the writers have referenced at a specific % of the Area Median Income (AMI) or are they just income restricted units at various rates? Based on the numbers and percentages the writers listed (2015 - 33% or 215 units; 2014 - 82% or 586 units; 2013 - 93% or 548 units; 2012 - 82% or 371 units; a total of 1,720 built units are "considered affordable" of the 2,407 units completed), it would appear that 71.5% of the units built/completed in Oakland since 2012 are "considered affordable". That is a supermajority of units (1,720/2,407 = 71.5%) recently added to the Oakland housing stock are income restricted Below Market Rate units.

There is an obvious need for income restricted affordable housing. There is also a need/demand for non restricted units. More BMR units will not prevent or alleviate displacement. The super majority of tenants being displaced do not qualify for BMR units at 60% or below AMI. The housing issue we face and the impetus for displacements is that people who make too much to qualify for those 1,700+ income restricted units can't find a place to rent. Point blank, there just isn't enough supply of apartments, so the demand for existing units continues to increase and so do rents. If we (Oaklanders) want more housing for people making 80%-120% of AMI (the teachers, the public servants, the recent college grads, and a lot of just regular folks), we need to increase the number of apartments available so that we don't have 50 people bidding on that one available apartment in Adams Point, East Lake, Lake Shore, Grand /Lake, Telegraph (Uptown to Berkeley), Mosswood, Diamond, Jingletown, etc. Less new apartments equals more demand and more rent for the few apartments we have.

Posted by Ray Connell on 12/24/2015 at 3:42 PM

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