Alameda County is located in the Bay Area of northern California, which has historically enjoyed a sound economy and high quality of life. The area includes major universities and research institutions, numerous recreational opportunities, and a diversified economic base of manufacturing, services, wholesale, and retail businesses.
Seven cities in Alameda County -- Alameda, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Leandro, and Union City -- have joined with the Alameda County Urban County, the unincorporated areas of Alameda County, and the Urban County jurisdictions of Albany, Dublin, Emeryville, Newark, and Piedmont to form the Alameda County HOME Consortium. The Consolidated Plan has been prepared for all consortium jurisdictions under the supervision of the Alameda County Planning Department's Housing and Community Development Program (HCD) with the help of community development and planning staff from each of the consortium's jurisdictions.
The Consolidated Plan submitted by the Alameda County Consortium requested $5.2 million in Federal assistance, including $2.3 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and $2.9 million in HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds. These funds will be used by participating jurisdictions for local projects.
Community participation was a very important element in drafting the Consolidated Plan. A meeting was held on November 3, 1994, to gather information about the housing and service needs of the homeless and other special needs populations. More than 160 service providers attended this meeting. The homeless needs assessment was the collaboration of a large number of homeless service providers, service clients, and other entities involved with the homeless and special needs populations. The plan also drew on the previous Comprehensive Housing Authority Strategy plan, which was developed with citizen input.
A public hearing on the Consolidated Plan was held on the evening of
February 1, 1995, so that working people could attend and participate. Urban
County jurisdictions held a special meeting to discuss community development
needs on February 9, 1995. During the 30-day review period, a public hearing was
held to receive comments on the draft Consolidated Plan. The draft plan was
distributed to all participating cities, to main library branches in Alameda
County, and to interested organizations and persons.
The population of the Alameda County HOME Consortium is 804,216, making it the second most populous HOME entitlement jurisdiction in the Bay Area. The consortium serves 75 percent of Alameda County's population, covering most of the geographic, social, and economic landscape.
Between 1980 and 1990, the population grew by 21 percent, an increase of 141,502 persons. The largest growth occurred in Pleasanton and Emeryville. However, the population decreased by 4.1 percent in the unincorporated areas.
The consortium has 291,764 households, which vary in size by jurisdiction. Emeryville had the smallest average household size of 1.8 persons, while Union City had the largest average size of 3.4 persons.
The consortium area has the following racial and ethnic breakdown:
The seven cities in Alameda County have roughly proportional demographics, except for Union City. The population of Union City is 34 percent white, 32 percent Asian American and Pacific Islander, and 25 percent Hispanic.
Between 1980 and 1990, African Americans recorded the largest population increase in the consortium, growing by 93 percent. The Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, and the white population grew by 5 percent.
In 1990 the median family income (MFI) in the consortium area was $47,516 for a family of four. Of the 291,764 households in the consortium, 108,171 (37 percent) had incomes below 96 percent of MFI. The numbers of extremely low- to middle-income households were:
Alameda County is the western terminus for much of the Nation's transportation network and is one of the major ports for Pacific Rim trade. In the early 1990s new development slowed, and real estate values decreased, following national and State trends. Although the economy now is slowly improving, dramatic changes to the local employment picture have permanently altered the area's economic landscape. The Alameda Naval Air Station in Alameda and the Oak Knoll Naval Medical Center in Oakland are scheduled to close in 1997 as part of the downsizing of the defense industry. The closing of these and other Bay Area military bases will affect the consortium's need for and its ability to provide affordable housing.
Real incomes have failed to keep pace with home prices, making it increasingly difficult for potential first-time homebuyers to purchase a home. Most low-income households cannot purchase a home without a financial subsidy. Calculating the ownership affordability gap also reveals serious financial barriers for moderate-income households that wish to become homeowners.
The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) has projected that an additional 38,344 housing units are needed for all income levels throughout the consortium. Of this projected figure, 23 percent are needed in Hayward and 21 percent in Fremont. By income category, 22 percent are needed for low-income, 16 percent for moderate-income, 21 percent for middle-income, and 41 percent for above middle-income households.
Because of the size and diversity of its communities, the consortium has a wide variety of housing, ranging from turn-of-the-century Victorian and Craftsman homes to new subdivisions. The consortium also has diverse suburban and urban neighborhoods.
There are 303,637 housing units in the consortium communities. Overall, 291,544 (96 percent) are occupied, with 40 percent being rental units and 60 percent being ownership units. Nearly 7 percent of rental and 5 percent of owner-occupied units are substandard.
At the time of the 1990 census, the rental vacancy rate for Alameda County was 5.6 percent, and the ownership vacancy rate was 1.3 percent. As of January 1994, the overall vacancy rate in the county was 4.9 percent.
Smaller units predominate the rental housing stock, while larger units are more prevalent in the owner housing stock. Approximately 36 percent of the occupied rentals are efficiency or one-bedroom units, versus 5 percent of the owner-occupied units. Two-bedroom units make up 41 percent of rental and 20 percent of owner-occupied units, while three-bedroom or larger units compose 23 percent of rental and 75 percent of owner-occupied units.
Between 1980 and 1990, median home value in Alameda County increased by 166 percent, rising from $85,300 to $227,200. Median monthly contract rents vary throughout the consortium communities, ranging from $579 in the unincorporated area of Ashland to $1,001 in Piedmont. Rents tend to be slightly higher than average in newer communities, such as Dublin and Pleasanton.
Of the 24,199 extremely low-income households in the consortium, 64 percent are renters. Extremely low-income renters also have the most housing problems. More than 80 percent of them are cost burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing expenses. The majority of extremely low-income owners (65 percent) are elderly. About 60 percent of them are cost burdened, and 40 percent are severely cost burdened. Overall, nearly 70 percent of all extremely low-income households are severely cost burdened, paying more than 50 percent of their income for housing.
Almost 75 percent of all low-income renters are cost burdened, and nearly half are severely cost burdened. Slightly more than one-third of low-income owners are cost burdened, and 20 percent are severely cost burdened.
Although 67 percent of moderate-income renters are cost burdened, only 7 percent are severely cost burdened. Among moderate-income owners, one-third are cost burdened.
About 40 percent of middle-income renters are cost burdened, while 54 percent of middle-income owners are cost burdened.
Estimates of Alameda County's homeless population range from 9,000 to 27,000, with an estimated 19 percent coming from consortium communities. The majority of persons seeking help from local food banks (62 percent) are African American. Whites constitute 26 percent of the clientele; Hispanics account for 7 percent; and the remaining clients are from other racial and ethnic groups.
The Alameda County Shelter Plus Care program provides long-term rental assistance and supportive services to homeless people who have been on the streets for at least 12 of the past 24 months or who have either mental illness, chronic alcohol or drug abuse problems, or HIV/AIDS. The current program subsidizes 133 units throughout the county and can serve 165 households when operating at full capacity. A second phase of the program, scheduled to begin in 1995, will provide rental assistance to an additional 100 homeless households and provide assistance to 214 households at capacity.
Public housing units in the consortium are administered by the Housing Authority of Alameda County, the city of Alameda Housing Authority, and the Livermore Housing Authority. As of December 31, 1994, 628 households were living in public housing units. Of that figure, 149 were elderly households, and 479 were family households. An additional 5,022 households are on a waiting list for public housing. The majority of households on the waiting list are severely cost burdened.
The Section 8 housing programs are administered by the same three authorities. As of December 31, 1994, 7,212 households were using Section 8 vouchers or certificates. Of that figure, 5,459 are family households, and 1,753 are elderly households. An additional 5,465 households are on a waiting list for Section 8 housing. The majority of households on the waiting list are family households with severe cost burdens.
The consortium has identified a number of public policies that affect the development of affordable housing. These policies exist at the Federal, State, and local levels. Jurisdictions charge "in lieu of" or local development fees for residential development. These fees can be waived for the development of affordable housing. Additional costs are associated with meeting requirements for fire safety, noise insulation, soil reports, earthquake protection, energy conservation, and access for persons with disabilities. City permitting processes can cause delays in housing production and increase overall cost, discouraging the development of affordable housing. Neighborhood opposition to proposed affordable housing units also exists in certain areas.
Among California's urban counties, Alameda County has the second highest proportion of pre-1950 housing stock, which often contains lead-based paint. Alameda County also has the second highest rate in the State of children under age 6 living in pre-1950 housing stock. Overall, 230,366 dwelling units in the consortium were built before 1980. About 45,360 children under age 7 live in these dwellings, and most of these children are from lower income renter households.
In 1987 a door-to-door survey conducted in selected Alameda County neighborhoods by the California Department of Health Services found that 48 percent of children had blood-lead levels within the range of lead poisoning. The Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program targets high-risk neighborhoods in the county, which are primarily low income.
The elderly population has increased faster than any other in Alameda County. The number of persons age 75 and older grew by 22 percent, while the number of residents between ages 65 and 74 grew by 17 percent. Almost 22 percent of the elderly population live at or below the poverty level, with the majority residing in the North Country (Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and Piedmont). Minority elderly persons are 2-3 times more likely to live in poverty.
Of the 175,629 persons age 60 or older in Alameda County, 18 percent are functionally impaired, having either a mobility limitation, a self-care limitation, or both. Of these, 16 percent are living at or below the poverty level. Significant waiting lists exist for subsidized senior housing. Many lower income elderly persons spend a large portion of their fixed incomes on housing, saving little money for prescriptions, medical care, food, or transportation.
An estimated 5 percent of the Alameda County population over age 18 (or 67,788 persons) is functionally impaired. Of this figure, 29 percent have a mobility limitation; 43 percent have a self-care limitation; and 28 percent have both a self-care and a mobility limitation. A study prepared by the Alameda County Long Term Care Planning Council recommended instituting a community-based, three-level system of care, depending on the impairment of the individuals being served. Currently, 540 subsidized units of rental housing are available for persons with physical disabilities.
The Alameda County Department of Mental Health Services annually serves about 15,000 individuals with severe and chronic mental disabilities that require periodic psychiatric hospitalization or other types of 24-hour care. An estimated 27 percent of this population is homeless at any given time.
Of the 4,165 persons who were admitted to a county substance abuse treatment program during a 9-month period between 1992 and 1993, 831 were homeless. Greater availability of affordable, supportive transitional and permanent housing is required to provide these individuals and their families with a clean and sober lifestyle, while offering ongoing support and skill building.
A 1993 survey found that 1,423 of the estimated 11,500 persons with HIV/AIDS did not have their housing needs met. The greatest need for this group is affordable housing that enables them to access support, affordable health care and social services, and the counseling needed to adjust to the transition in their lives. A limited number of permanent units in Alameda County is dedicated to persons with HIV/AIDS. These units, which are located in Oakland, include 25 rooms in shared living facilities and 28 independent units.
Each jurisdiction within the consortium has identified its own list of
community development needs.
All of the HOME funds will be spent on rental housing. Approximately $1 million will be spent on acquisition of properties, while $1.1 million will be spent on substantial rehabilitation, $307,909 on rehabilitation, $264,870 on new construction, and $250,165 on administration.
Each jurisdiction has identified its own list of priorities for CDBG funds.
The consortium communities have used CDBG funds to provide a wide range of services and programs that assist persons living in poverty or crisis situations, homeless persons, or persons threatened with homelessness. These services include: comprehensive case management, youth intervention, child care, basic life skills counseling, job training or vocational assessment, alcohol and drug treatment, literacy education, and other supportive services designed to increase economic self-sufficiency and independence.
In addition to Federal resources, the communities of the Alameda County Consortium will use: redevelopment tax increment funds, the California Housing Rehabilitation Program for Owners, State and Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, mortgage revenue bonds, local Business Improvement Area Funds, city recycling funds, fee waivers, various city programs, and private funds, including Community Reinvestment Act funds and private donations.
Although the Alameda County HCD is the lead agency responsible for implementing HOME-funded activities, each jurisdiction will coordinate its own CDBG-funded activities. All jurisdictions have separate coordination plans that involve municipal departments and agencies as well as nonprofit social service providers.
HCD provides technical support and assistance to nonprofit organizations and private developers engaged in affordable housing development or rehabilitation. HCD also reviews and monitors programs, while providing staff support to various public agencies. Furthermore, several county-level advisory committees have been established.
County agencies involved in administering the Consolidated Plan are: the
Alameda County Planning Department, Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention
Program, the Housing Authority of Alameda County, Alameda County Housing and
Community Development Advisory Committee, Alameda County HOME Consortium
Technical Advisory Committee, Alameda County Urban County Technical Advisory
Committee, and the Alameda County Redevelopment Area Citizens Advisory
During the first year of the Consolidated Plan, $1.3 million in CDBG funds will be supplemented by $105,000 in program income. These funds will be distributed to each jurisdiction to complete various projects.
In Alameda CDBG funds will be allocated as follows:
In Fremont CDBG funds will be allocated as follows:
In Hayward CDBG funds will be allocated as follows:
In Livermore CDBG funds will be allocated as follows:
In Pleasanton CDBG funds will be allocated as follows:
In San Leandro CDBG funds will be allocated as follows:
In Union City CDBG funds will be allocated as follows:
In Urban County jurisdictions CDBG funds will be allocated as follows:
Nearly $2.9 million in HOME funds will be used in conjunction with State, local, and private funds for acquisition, housing rehabilitation, new construction, homebuyer assistance, rental assistance, and homeless assistance and prevention. Approximately 65 percent of HOME funds will be targeted to households earning less than 50 percent of MFI, while another 25 percent will be targeted to households earning less than 60 percent of MFI. Construction of 250 housing units is expected.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).