Our democracy rests on public policymaking that is fully informed, transparent, and equitable. We transfer our experience as former policy makers, designers, and implementers to partner with policy leaders and community change groups. Our public policy reports, research, and data advance innovative ways to solve pressing community problems in the pursuit of community justice and racial equity.
Public Land for the People. As part of the Housing Equity plan for the City of Oakland led by DISJ's Margaretta Lin, UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy's Carlos MacGregor Villarreal analyzed the City of Oakland's available land for affordable housing. Click here for Carlos' Report. At the same time, UC Berkeley City Planning student Carline Au mapped all publicly owned land in Oakland. Click here for Carline's Report. Based upon their combined research, there are close to 50 publicly owned vacant or underutilized parcels that the City's Housing Element identified as suitable for housing development, which could produce over 7,300 new housing units. Out of these 50 parcels, 36 were owned by the City of Oakland and could produce over 3,600 housing units. See here for the full list of parcels. During Oakland's worst housing crisis, with a 63% increase in rents since 2014, escalated evictions, and the explosion of new homelessness, we believe that the City of Oakland should utilize public land for building affordable housing, including low-cost housing innovations, rather than selling public land to market developers. As of December 2017, there are over 20,000 market rate housing units under construction or in the pipeline, compared to less than 1,500 affordable units. Stay tuned for more policy justice research and analysis as we support people powered organizing for a transformative public land policy in Oakland!
Anti-Displacement Recommendations from Our Beloved Community Action Network. We seek to continue Dr. King’s legacy and vision for creating “Beloved Community” in Alameda County in which, “All people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.” Our ability to create the Beloved Community is severely undermined by the displacement crisis in Alameda County. We see critical opportunities to solve this crisis and believe the following goals are attainable through a uniting of community dedication and political will: 1)Enable every long-time resident who wants to stay and contribute to have access to new resources for tenants and homeowners. 2)Ensure that new County and City housing funds are being utilized for anti-displacement strategies. 3)Redeploy available local flexible funds to address funding gaps for major anti-displacement strategies. 4)Enact significant protective anti-displacement policies at the County, City, and State levels. Click here to view the full Report.
Saving Homes Today: Immediate Anti-Displacement Solutions for the Alameda County Housing Bond. DISJ's Urban Justice Design Project designed anti-displacement strategies for the Alameda County $580 million Affordable Housing Bond, Measure A1, including a $45 million Home Preservation Fund to save the homes of struggling elderly homeowners, based upon a pilot program DISJ Principal, Margaretta Lin created at the City of Oakland. Once the Bond was approved by voters, DISJ and the Our Beloved Community Action Network successfully advocated for County funds once used for affordable housing development to be redeployed for anti-displacement safety net services. Report co-authors are UC Berkeley graduate students Megan Calpin, MPH & MCP, and Zoe Roller, MCP. Click here to view the full Report.
Open Data Map of California's Housing Cost-Burdened Elders. As part of the work to convince the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to include Home Preservation strategies for elders as part of its $500 million Housing Bond, DISJ partner the Civic Engine created a map showcasing at a neighborhood level the status of elderly renters and homeowners paying more than 50% of their income towards housing: California's Shame: Why Are So Many Elderly Having to Struggle to Afford Housing. Click here to view the interactive map.
A Roadmap Toward Equity: Housing Solutions for Oakland California. At the City of Oakland, DISJ Principal, Margaretta Lin led public/private anti-displacement initiatives, including the development of a comprehensive plan to address Oakland's Housing Crisis. She commissioned PolicyLink and Urban Strategies Council to work with the City on the Oakland Housing Equity Roadmap and facilitated a process to integrate the best thinking of City departments and community stakeholders. The Oakland City Council adopted the policy framework of the Roadmap in September 2015. The Roadmap also served as the foundation for the Oakland Mayor's Housing Action Plan. Click here to view the Oakland Housing Equity Roadmap.