Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 18, 2022

Housing Element review, part 6

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Program 13 is around tenant protections which is nothing that is new if you followed the rent stabilization discussions.

Program 14 is replacement housing which is just a monitoring program along with Program 15. Program 14 will monitor units that might be demolished to build new housing and Program 15 is for affordable housing units which might be converted to market rate.

Program 16 is the First Time Homebuyers Program which is exactly as it sound like and has a lofty goal of helping two (2) homebuyers per year with downpayments.

Program 17 is the Housing Rehabilitation Program and is an existing set of programs and grants which helps people to stay in their homes or retain their property that they may not have had money to afford fixing without intervention of the City.

Program 18 is Utility Assistance which is great because it will help people retain their housing by getting assistance for at least one bill.


April 15, 2022

Housing Element review, part 5

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

The next few programs aren’t that exciting or thrilling there’s Program 5 which is just Accessory Dwelling Units which the City thinks it can count 560 units (70 units per year) which may be possible given the relaxation of the ADU laws thanks to state intervention. Previous to state laws it was prohibitively difficult to build an ADU in Alameda. There is a bullet point about creating a financial incentive for property owners to build these units and have them income restricted which sounds like a great plan but — at this point — given the equity that most property owners have in their homes it may make more sense to use the equity to build the ADU and then be able to rent out the unit at market rate rather than be limited. So that’s something that should be under consideration for any program the City decides to implement. There should absolutely be “approved” models that homeowners can select to make the process super simple the way that the City of San Jose has. But given the increase in the number of ADUs built in Alameda I know there are companies that know exactly what to do for an Alameda specific ADU.

Program 6 is Large Sites and Multifamily Housing which is just streamlined approvals already allowed for projects that have a high percentage of low and very low income housing. Essentially this program just says they’ll push these projects to the front of the queue and not sit around and wait on these.

Program 7 is the inclusionary housing ordinance which Alameda already has and that the Housing Element just says it will be continuing. For those that don’t know this is a requirement for any new larger project to have at least 15% of the units be set aside for low and very low income families. At Alameda Point that number jumps to 20%.

Programs 8 and 9 are pretty much identical, it just says that the City will try to incentivize the building of affordable housing. There’s also bullet points that will fund housing services to those that qualify.

Program 10 will attempt to “encourage” housing developers to set aside at least 50 units for persons with developmental disabilities but there is no real plan to get another Capon Villa like development built within this cycle.

Program 11 is Resources for homeless people and families including continuing funding midway but also trying to find a site for a “service enriched shelter” in Alameda. I understand there is a need for single people in Alameda, particularly men, more than anything else and as with anything involving homeless shelters I’m here to remind you that Carnegie Library is vacant and exists in an area with many services and close to a lot of transit options.


April 14, 2022

Housing Element review, part 4

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

This is a biggie, this may be the biggie for some of our resident NIMBYs in Alameda of the Programs in the Housing Element to achieve the goals set out in the introduction of the Housing Element:

You know what those barriers to housing construction are don’t you Alameda?

If you guessed A/26 you would be 100% correct and, specifically:


April 13, 2022

Housing Element review, part 3

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

The next part of the Housing Element are the specific programs the City intends to implement to realize the lofty policy objectives from the Goals portion.

Program 1 is Alameda Point, of course. It is the largest parcel of available land in Alameda and therefore will be at the centerpiece of any future discussions about development.

These are not new units, so this has nothing to do with the recent cries to work with the Navy to remove the additional unit penalty. Those discussions would, as staff has said, would never be concluded in time to be included in this Housing Element cycle. This particular program (and the resulting units from the program) can only be included and counted if the City Council votes to for a Site A entitlement update which will require four votes. Are there four votes for the current developer currently? Hard to say but, much like the Encinal Terminals site, without that fourth vote the City will have to find 610 units somewhere else in Alameda.


April 12, 2022

Housing Element review, part 2

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

A reminder that we’re still on the goals of Alameda’s Housing Element.

For Goal 2, this is the most nebulous and the most challenging portion of the Housing Element but I feel like it’s also the most important because of Alameda’s challenges in affirmatively furthering fair housing over its history.

From the Housing Element, how “fair housing” is defined:


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.


July 17, 2012

Out of your Housing Element

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Development, Measure A — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

A little more on the Housing Element discussion from a few weeks ago, this time from Planning Services Manager Andrew Thomas, who explains a brief history of Alameda and Housing Elements, why the overlay is important, and why staff thinks it’s important to get this Housing Element certified.

This is the second time we’ve tried to do a Housing Element.  The first one was never fully certified, but it was for about 2000 housing units, the reason it wasn’t certified is the state said, “look, you’re only providing for one kind of housing type, single family residential, you are not providing for the other kinds of housing types that we require at the State level.”

So all we did here was to say, okay we hear you, we got it, so here is this zoning overlay we’re proposing to assure you — as well as those changes to the definition in the zoning ordinance about Transitional Housing, SROs, so we could really show that we’ve got the full range of housing types including the multi-family rental covered.


July 16, 2012

It’s Housing Element, my dear Watson

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Development, Measure A — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

Tomorrow night at the City Council meeting, the City Council will be doing a final reading of the 2007-2014 Housing Element.  It’s on the Consent Calendar, but it will be pulled.   I’ve written about this subject extensively and the City has had extensive meetings on the topic including the various components that have led up to this point.

But as what happens in all cases of things having to do with housing in Alameda, if someone feels as though they weren’t properly engaged regardless of the number of meetings about the subject they will attempt to say that there wasn’t enough notice or public process about the process.   Between the last City Council meeting and this City Council meeting, Councilmember Doug deHaan has been making huge waves amongst his peeps to try to build a level of outrage over the Housing Element.   Recall, the City started this process in December 2011 to revise the Housing Element and it’s no surprise that Alameda’s Housing Element has been out of compliance for a long long long time.


March 12, 2012

Basic housing element

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Development — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Tonight, at the Planning Board meeting there will be on the agenda two really important topics: the Housing Element and the Alameda Point Rezoning Public Workshop.   No action will be taken for any of these agenda items, but the subject matters themselves are really important ones.

The first agenda item is the Housing Element which is always a controversial one because it has to be done, but it is about housing which is always a major hot button topic in Alameda.  One of the newer passages in the Housing Element will be about the unaccomodated need based on the Regional Housing Needs Allocation from ABAG.  The unaccomodated need identification is important to track now because for every unit unaccomodated in previous cycles the balance will be carried over to the next seven year cycle.

Here’s where Alameda stands so far, from the draft Housing Element:


December 8, 2011

In your Housing Element

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Development, Measure A — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

As mentioned in the comments section under yesterday’s post, the City is going to be rebooting the Housing Element process to bring Alameda’s Housing Element into compliance with the state.  The Housing Element is part of Alameda’s larger General Plan and the State requires that the Housing Element identify sites in Alameda to fulfill Alameda’s allocated Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA).

Previously, it appeared that simply identifying sites was sufficient and that there was no real penalties for jurisdictions that failed to actually build the RHNA identified units.   Now, for every unit unbuilt from each seven year cycle, the balance will “carryover” into the next seven year cycle.  Did I mention the part about how jurisdictions can be sued if they don’t have an approved Housing Element?   And given Alameda’s Measure A elephant in the room, Alameda really doesn’t want to give the State any other reasons to get pissy at Alameda on the subject of housing.


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