Oakland Mayor Brown opts against affordable housing
Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown.
By Lara Moscrip, Bay City News Service
November 1, 2006
OAKLAND (BCN) - Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown voted Tuesday
night to create a panel of experts to study whether developers
should be required to build affordable units in future housing
projects in the city, effectively voting down an effort by some
City Council members to enact such a measure before the Nov. 7
According to a spokesman for Brown, a blue-ribbon panel will
take an in-depth look at what the city might need to do to create
an "inclusionary zoning'' housing policy.
The inclusionary zoning ordinance before the council would have
required that 15 to 20 percent of units in future housing developments
be allotted for low- and moderate income families.
According to Councilwoman Jane Brunner, Brown's choice to break
the tie within the City Council in favor of the substitute motion
creating the expert panel is a big loss for the city.
"I think it's an absolute lost opportunity. He has been
really good at bringing people and development to Oakland,'' Brunner
said today of the mayor. "Now it's time to give back to the
community and that's by providing jobs or providing affordable
Brunner noted that if Proposition 90 were to pass on Election
Day, the city "may never be able to do this again.'' Brunner
said the statewide proposition, if passed, could make it more
difficult for the city to require developers to build affordable
Gil Duran, spokesman for Brown, said today that given the way
the inclusionary housing ordinance was written, only one-third
of 1 percent of people who need affordable housing would benefit.
"We've been able to attract a lot of investment to Oakland
in the past eight years,'' Duran said, noting that in Brown's
terms, 30 percent more affordable housing was built than under
"Some people believe that putting condos where there were
once were blighted parking lots is a bad thing. We think it's
good to have more tax dollars, more stores, more restaurants,''
The blue-ribbon panel will include appointees from Brown, mayor-elect
Ron Dellums, City Council members, the city administrator's office
and the city attorney's office.
Work on appointing the panel will start next week, Duran said,
and it is scheduled to conclude its work on affordable housing
by Jan. 31.
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