Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 7, 2022

Housing Element review, part 1

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

I’m skipping over the introduction and such and starting off with the Goals and Policies which are very strong:

I mean, Goal 2 is required by state law, but it’s nice that the City is attempting to lay ground that they’re being mindful of this. The problem is, when we get to that part, is that the language around affirmatively furthering fair housing comes off a bit mealy mouthed.

For the first Goal, there is a list of nine policy points to achieve this goal. This is an important point:

But eventually you’ll see that even though the “higher opportunity areas” are established as being in the East End and on Bay Farm there is not as many sites identified in these areas. There’s a bit of handwaving that I referenced earlier in the AFFH portion but I’ll get to that in detail when we review the AFFH portion of the Housing Element. I mean this sounds good, but — in fact — the City hasn’t identified any East End or Harbor Bay sites that are different or in addition to the vacant-ish sites we already know about. They are proposing to lift A/26 from R-2 through R-6 zoning island-wide which is pretty huge, but still doesn’t touch or affect the majority of the East End and Bay Farm.

This is notable given the amount of time and money it costs to go through the approval process which just serves in making new housing more expensive:

And finally, I would love to see the last two bullets happen:

The story of housing in Alameda has long been told through the lens of “stately homes” and how A/26 saved Victorians. We don’t hear about camp ins at Franklin Park to protest evictions of housing units largely occupied by Alameda’s Black community. We don’t hear about what happened during internment and what happened to the property of Japanese families when they were removed from Alameda. It’s time that we reframe the discussion of housing in Alameda to focus on what communities we’ve lost and not just the structures which are deemed worthy of mourning to be centered.


  1. Very insightful column, Lauren. Thank you for doing the work on this. Much appreciated and thought provoking.

    Comment by egelblock — April 7, 2022 @ 6:23 am

  2. I hope this also involves looking at ways in which the city makes it costly and time-consuming to subdivide existing single-family homes into multiple units in areas already zoned for that.

    Comment by Allan Mann — April 7, 2022 @ 7:10 am

    • The Housing Element programs don’t address this specifically other than the ADU portion. It should be easier to create a JADU (totally allowed, no additional development impact fees) within an existing dwelling but as to subdividing a SFH into multiple units, it’s not addressed in any streamlined way.

      Comment by Lauren Do — April 7, 2022 @ 8:54 am

  3. Lauren, I was looking at this as well. With the current affordable allocation, not including the Residential Sites R1-R6, the Accessory Dwelling units, and the Infill Residential and AUSD sites, the split is approximately 55% (West End) and 30% (East End).

    Comment by Karen Bey — April 7, 2022 @ 9:25 am

  4. Thank you.
    “It’s time that we reframe the discussion of housing in Alameda to focus on what communities we’ve lost and not just the structures which are deemed worthy of mourning to be centered.”

    *** Homes for All then our streets will no longer house the unhoused, ***

    Comment by William John Smith — April 12, 2022 @ 8:34 am

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