U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


The City is strategically located in the San Francisco Bay Area and consists of a diverse population. Major changes in Oakland's economic base are reflected in a shift of employment from manufacturing to lower paying service and retail sector jobs, as manufacturing establishments are either closed or significantly scaled back. In addition, the City's economic base has been severely impacted by the current area recession, which has also added to unemployment and poverty levels.

In the past four years, Oakland has experienced two major disasters which have severely damaged the City's housing stock. In the Loma Prieta earthquake and massive firestorm that swept through Oakland a total of 4,500 housing units were either completely destroyed or damaged. Further, the pending closure of major military facilities in the Bay Area is a threat to the City's already eroding economic base.

Action Plan

The City's One-Year Action Plan is supported by a $10,723,000.00 1995 HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a $3,708,000.00 1995 HUD HOME grant, a $1,564,000.00 1995 Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS grant, and a $359,000.00 HUD Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG). In addition, the City has $2,415 million in program funds and $359,000.00 in local funds that will be available to support of Plan activities. Also, the City is a federally designated Enhanced Enterprise Community, entitling it to $3 million in HHS Title XX funds and $22 million through HUD's Economic Development Initiative.

Citizen Participation

The City's community needs, goals and priorities have been established through an extensive citizen participation process consisting of seven Community Development District Boards, Empowerment Zone (EZ) planning, citizen working groups, public hearings and a 30- day comment period. The District Boards are comprised of residents from each of the City's seven districts and are responsible for setting goals and priorities for the City's CDBG program. In addition to the Boards and citizen participation during the City's EZ planning process, the Oakland City Council established a working group consisting of Council Representatives, City staff, District Board members and non-profit organizations. The purpose of this working group is to provide recommendations to the Council on the its CDBG program.

Public Hearings were held to allow Oakland residents the opportunity to provide their input on housing and community development needs of the City's lower income families and on the priorities and strategies for meeting those needs. The comment period for the City's Consolidated Plan began on April 10,1995 and notification of the plan's availability was published in the Oakland Tribune on April 8,9 and 10. The public comment period closed on May 10, 1995 with no public comments received.


Oakland's has experienced a great deal of new construction of architecturally outstanding office buildings, including a new Federal office in the City Center Redevelopment Project. Such office construction is transforming the downtown skyline and has increased employment opportunities in the downtown. Conversely, only a few blocks away from this modernized downtown area are some of the oldest neighborhoods in the City. These areas, are home to thousands of low and moderate income families and contain housing in substantial need of rehabilitation.

Throughout the City, particularly in the seven community development districts, housing needs are critical. Since 1980, increases in rents and home prices have outpaced income growth, so that the affordability problem is increasing for a significant portion of Oakland's population. Homeownership is no longer a viable goal for substantial numbers of City residents; for many of them, just staying off the streets is their main priority.

The 1990 Census shows Oakland's median family income as $13,755. and its poverty rate as 18.8%. These indices are much greater than Alameda County's median family income of $45,073 and its poverty rate of 10.6%, and are also greater than the 9-County Bay Area's median family income of $48,532. and poverty rate of 8.5%. The poverty rate for Oakland's White families is 5%, for its Black families its 14.6%, for Asian families it's 21% and for Hispanic families it's 18.3%.


Housing Needs

Oakland's most serious housing problem is cost burden. An estimated 41,506 renters and 15,648 owners have a housing affordability problem. This particular group represent 39% of all City households. The data shows that renters are poorer than owners . While 66% of all renters (54,817 households) qualify as low or moderate with nearly 32% of these households (26,325 households) qualifying as extremely low income. This income category is defined as a household with incomes of less than 30% of the area median income. Among household types, large renter families and elderly renters are much more likely to be low or moderate income and also tend to experience more housing problems.

Overcrowding rose from 8% in l980 rate to almost 16% in 1990. This growing problem is particularly severe for the large renter families who experience an overcrowding rate of approximately 73%. Such conditions are generally linked to the failure of family incomes to keep pace with the increase in rents which over the past decade rose to 142% while median income rose by 97%.

Housing Market Conditions

According to the 1990 Census, Oakland has a total of 154,737 units. This total represents a 3% net increase, but represents a slightly smaller increase at 2% in the total of actual occupied units over the past decade. However, the unit increase trails the growth in population over the same period. Housing growth in the 1980s shifted slightly toward rental housing. The City believes that a reasonably accurate vacancy rate is around 3.2% During this ten year period, house values rose by 162% with the median house value now at $172,100.00.

According to a 1982 housing condition survey, close to 7% of the rental stock and 13% of the owner occupied stock were substandard. Applying these percentages to the 1990 Census figures, produces an outcome that places 5,817 of the City's occupied renter units in the category of substandard with 5,564 of them suitable for rehabilitation. Of the inhabited owner-occupied units, 8009 are categorized as substandard with 7,708 of them suitable for rehabilitation.

Affordable Housing Needs

The median contract rent rose from $104. in 1970 to $860. in 1990. Such rent increases have had a damaging affect on the overall affordability of housing in Oakland. Housing data indicates that 72% of low and moderate income renters spend more than 30% of their incomes on rent. This situation is expected to worsen as the amount of assistance provided through public aid programs is cut at the State level. There is little hope that the private market will be able to build sufficient new rental units to meet low income families need for more affordable housing. Given the realty of the high cost of construction and land, newly constructed rental units will be priced too high for lower income renters. Consequently, if rental demand continues to increase and if this is coupled with few, if any, subsidized rental housing being constructed, this could create upward pressure on rents. This pressure would then force many households to devote excessive amounts of income to housing costs and an increase in overcrowding.

Homeless Needs

Oakland has a total of 290 year-round shelter beds available in emergency shelters with an additional 60 beds available from November and March under the City's Winter Relief Program. It also has 111 transitional housing units and 70 units of permanent housing units with 44 of these permanent units reserved for the disabled homeless. The Oakland Housing Authority also has developed a program to provide Single Room Occupancy units for the homeless. Moreover, the City has numerous daytime facilities and services that provide food, clothing and medical assistance.

The City also is responsible for 2,399 units for non-homeless elderly and persons with special needs and has programs that address the needs of the victims of domestic violence, substance abusers and those with AIDS/HIV. To help meet the needs of the disabled, Oakland has a number of housing and related public services programs. For example, the City has 15 residential treatment and recovery programs for substance abusers with over 211 beds. These treatment centers focus on various target groups, such as pregnant teenagers. Other examples of City programs designed to meet special needs is the AIDS Project of the East Bay where counseling, client advocacy for benefits and health and housing services are provided AIDS patients. Catholic Charities has an AIDS program which provides housing assistance and related public services to AIDS victims.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

Oakland's assisted housing resources consist of traditional public housing, Section 8 assisted household and privately-owned projects assisted through State, local and other Federal programs. The City is responsible for 3,306 public housing units, 6,471 households assisted Section 8 tenant-based assisted vouchers and certificates, 1,486 units of Section 8 project-based subsidies and 2,914 other assisted units. Of the public housing stock, there are 2,923 units, nearly 90%, designated to families with 383 units designated specifically for seniors.

The condition of the public housing stock varies from project to project and site to site. The Housing Authority estimates that $185 million is needed to undertake physical improvements to public housing units over the next twenty years. To accommodate the comprehensive modernization of one public housing project, there has been an increase in the vacancy rate to 5.4% as of October 1993. However, the vacancy rate for routine vacancies remains between 0.5% and 1.3% throughout this period.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Oakland's local developers have identified the City's lack of a clear permit processing system, its expensive development fees and local land use regulations as barriers to affordable housing. In the area of land use restrictions, a number of local organizations contend that the City does not have a sufficient amount of land zoned for multifamily housing. Downzoning may also present a development barrier. For example, the City may downzone some areas in response to neighborhood concerns. The negative impact of this action may inhibit the City's ability to meet its housing goals if the downzoning is not accompanied by concentrated and sustained efforts to target and construct higher density housing in other areas.

Fair Housing

The City has certified that it will affirmatively further fair housing and aggressively comply with Anti-Discrimination requirements. The City also allocated $20,000. to increase/expand legal services to clients with housing problems which include discrimination issues and $250,000. of its CDBG funds for fair housing activities.

Lead-Based Paint

The City is a member of the Alameda County Joint Powers Authority (JPA), which coordinates lead-based paint hazard abatement in the area. The JPA program is designed to include blood testing of children under six, housing and other hazard assessment and abatement of lead-based paint, lead-contaminated soil and lead dust hazards in private housing. The program targets five neighborhoods, three in Oakland and is based on four risk factors focusing on income, rents, concentration of pre-1950 housing and high concentration of families with children under the age of seven years. The programs long- range strategy includes door-to-door outreach, screening of children's blood levels, follow- up monitoring, and education and training for contractors and public health workers.

Community Development Needs

The substantial decline in Oakland's manufacturing jobs has not been balanced by an increase in other employment sectors. Rather, Oakland residents have lost income when they have been forced, out of necessity, into low wage menial labor jobs or worse still into unemployment. Job loss among Oakland residents is projected at 1,810 for direct civilian, 2,820 for military jobs held by Oakland residents and approximately 4,000 indirect resident jobs. The economic loss to Oakland is estimated at $140 million. Consequently, among the vast decline in its employment opportunities has put the need to increase job opportunities for its unemployed, underemployed and economically disadvantaged residents as a priority community development need.

The City's unemployment rate of 9%, the 25,781 households on public assistance and other troubling social indicators (e.g. the large numbers of its residents with physical and mental disabilities, the high crime rates) point to the necessity to expand public services for youth and children, the elderly and disabled. The City also stresses the need to undertake infrastructure and neighborhood improvements, particularly Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization in those declining neighborhoods targeted for economic development.


Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

The City's housing strategy is to expand homeownership opportunities for low and moderate income first-time homebuyers, expand the supply of affordable rental housing and provide rental assistance to low income renters. Oakland places a high priority on expanding job opportunities for its residents, particularly those who reside in the EEC areas. The City will concentrate on improvements to its public facilities, including recreation centers, streets and parks, particularly in areas where the City is undertaking economic development activities.

Housing Priorities

The City cites the expansion of affordable housing as one of its major objectives. This will be accomplished through a first-time homebuyer assistance program, new construction and housing rehabilitation. As part of its one year goals, the City expects to provide mortgages to 70 households under its HOME program, downpayment assistance to 150 first-time homebuyers and Mortgage Credit Certificates to 220 households. Oakland will continue to work with developers of the Evelyn Rose Family Housing project involving the new construction of family housing in the Elmhurst area. In addition, the City will assist in the Citywide development of rental housing and expects to provide funding for the development of 100-200 new units.

Rental assistance will be provided to very low income households through the Oakland Housing Authority under its 1994-1995 allocation of 40 Section 8 Vouchers and 90 Section 8 Certificates. The City expects to assist through its rehabilitation program 85 low income homeowners and 20 moderate income homeowners. Residents, both renters and homeowners, will benefit from the City's Self Help Paint Program, its Access Improvements Program and Rental Rehabilitation Program over the upcoming year.

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

Even though Oakland places a strong focus on the expansion and improvementof its housing stock for low and moderate income residents, it has linked these efforts with the need to address the lack of job opportunity for many of its residents and to reverse the deteriorating conditions that currently exist in many of the neighborhoods where economic development is being planned. Thus, City goals are to increase employment, revitalize commercial facilities and neighborhoods, attract and retain industry, provide capital for eligible businesses and to provide technical assistance to eligible businesses. Oakland will also focus on increasing public services for the residents in the targeted/declining neighborhoods, particularly in the areas of child care, domestic violence intervention and education and job training.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

Over 18 percent of Oakland's residents live in households with incomes below the poverty line. The City is engaged in a variety of actions to address this problem. Examples of these actions would require that all recipients of City housing funds to make a good faith effort to ensure that Oakland residents are hired for new jobs created as part of the housing project; that non-profit housing programs make specific efforts to employ homeless persons for both construction work and provision of services, and that City-sponsored housing projects, such as Single Room Occupancy, assist the homeless to develop employment and job skills.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The City is able to draw on County resources in its implementation of Homeless programs. In addition to its HOME, CDBG, HOPWA and ESG funds, the City relies on Section 8 certificates and vouchers. The City also recently received $10.8 million Comprehensive Grant for public housing development and qualifies for investor tax credits for low income rental housing projects. As a federally designated Enhanced Enterprise Community (EEC), the City was also awarded $22 million in EDI funding and $3 million in Title XX funds. Along with its designation as EEC, the City was one of twelve cities granted an One Stop Capital Shop from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Attached to the SBA award are several types of resources from SBA, such as micro loans technical assistance and possible capital resources.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

Actions are underway or will be initiated by Oakland to facilitate greater coordination among all public agencies providing housing resources, assisted housing providers and private and governmental health, mental health and social service agencies. For example, the City attends and participates in meetings with East Bay Housing Organizations and the Oakland Housing Authority. It also continues to work closely with the Emergency Services Network of Almeda County, an umbrella organization comprised of organizations that provide housing and supportive services to the homeless. Oakland's Office of Housing and Neighborhood Development closely works and coordinates its efforts with the Alameda County Department of Housing and Community Development housing and services providers in the development of the multi-year AIDS Housing Plan.


Description of Key Projects

The City's Consolidated Plan outlines the proposed use of approximately $19 million in CDBG, HOME and Emergency Shelter, and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS Grants and program income. These funds will be expended on a wide range of newly proposed housing and community development activities, including the following examples:


Targeted neighborhoods and Citywide.

Lead Agencies

The City's Office of Housing and Neighborhood Development is the lead agency.

Housing Goals

An estimated 1000 affordable housing units will be created or improved through downpayment assistance, housing rehabilitation, new construction and tenant assistance.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction

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; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

MAP 6 depicts one neighborhood at street level with proposed HUD funded projects.

To comment on Oakland's Consolidated Plan, please contact;

Susan Caldwell
Phone: (510) 238-3347

Return to California's Consolidated Plans.