Urge State Compliance with 2006 Agreement to Build 465
Affordable Apartments at Brooklyn Basin in Oakland
OAKLAND – Today, Mayor Libby Schaaf, over 100 East Oakland community
members and affordable housing developer MidPen Housing rallied at the site
where the new Brooklyn Basin development is currently under construction. They
called for the state to honor its commitment to provide $45 million in previously
approved public funds for affordable units to be included at the waterfront site.
“This effort is a shining example of how government and community can work
together to produce equitable outcomes as Oakland grows,” said Mayor Schaaf. “I
am confident the Governor and the Department of Finance will see that, and help
realize this vision.”
The City of Oakland and the Brooklyn Basin Community Benefits Coalition are
seeking State compliance with a Cooperation Agreement reached between the City
and the Coalition in 2006, requiring construction of these affordable apartments.
The Cooperation Agreement is part of a package of community benefits that the
Coalition—which includes Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), East Bay
Asian Youth Center (EBAYC), Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) and Urban
Strategies Council—pushed for as a condition of support for the waterfront
“We have worked for more than a decade to make sure this project includes
housing for all of Oakland,” said Coalition member Evangelina Lara from EBAYC.
“The City made a commitment in 2006 and now it’s the Governor’s job to make
good on it.”
Funds for the affordable housing component were largely to come from the City’s
portion of the State’s Redevelopment Program that ended in a cost cutting move
by former Oakland Mayor and current Governor Jerry Brown in 2011. Although the
redevelopment program was ended, the State is still required to make good on
legally binding obligations of former Redevelopment Agencies, including this
Cooperation Agreement. Given this assertion, the City submitted a $45 million
affordable housing financing plan to the State Department of Finance requesting a
final and conclusive determination of enforceability so that the State funds can be
accessed for affordable units at Brooklyn Basin.
The 3,100 unit waterfront development is slated to include 465 affordable units.
The new homes would be geared toward workforce housing, serving families and
seniors making up to 60 percent of Area Median Income, which is $55,740 a year
for a family of four. Construction on these affordable units is estimated to start in
spring of 2018, with the first phase available for lease in the fall of 2019.
These homes are being built at a time when the median rent for a one bedroom
apartment in Oakland is the fourth highest in the country at $2,210 per month, and
the city is number one in the nation when it comes to the gap between wage
increases and rent increases.
The governing bodies of four other public agencies—Alameda County, Oakland
Unified School District, AC Transit and Peralta Colleges—have all passed
resolutions in support of the City and the Coalition’s proposal to the State, citing
concerns about the current housing crisis. Each of these agencies receives former
Redevelopment tax revenues, which could include the funds slated for affordable
housing under the Cooperation Agreement if it is not honored by the State.
“The affordable housing crisis requires partnerships across all agencies,” said
James Harris, President of Oakland Unified School District. “It affects families
served by all of us, and we each have to do our part.”
MidPen Housing, one of Northern California’s largest non‐profit developers and
owners of affordable housing, has been selected to build the affordable units.
Since 1970, MidPen has developed nearly 7,500 homes for low‐income families,
seniors and those with special needs, and has garnered over 100 industry awards
for excellence in design, sustainability and land use.
“MidPen’s affordable homes are an important part of Brooklyn Basin,” said Mike
Ghielmetti, President of Signature Development Group. “The State funds will be a
positive for the entire project.”
“With State confirmation of funds, MidPen is ready to move forward developing
465 affordable homes for Oakland’s hard working families and seniors,” said
Matthew O. Franklin, President of MidPen Housing. “We’re excited to be part of
this visionary community which we believe will become a national model for
The City of Oakland submitted the request for final and conclusive finding that the
Cooperation Agreement is an enforceable obligation of the former Redevelopment
Agency on February 11th. The State Department of Finance has 100 days to
respond to the request.
About the Brooklyn Basin Project
Master Development Plan includes 3,100 units of which 15% will be affordable,
for a total of 465 affordable homes.
Planning for 110 senior homes and 355 family homes to include 1, 2 and 3
Affordability levels: 30% ‐ 60% AMI which translates to household annual
incomes of approximately $20k ‐ $60k.
On‐site amenities: community rooms, computer labs, fitness rooms, richly
landscaped and active courtyards, and after school classrooms for youth
residents. MidPen Services Corporation will provide robust onsite programs
and services to empower residents of all ages to thrive.
It is the mission of MidPen Housing to provide safe, affordable housing of high
quality to those in need; to establish stability and opportunity in the lives of
residents; and to foster diverse communities that allow people from all ethnic,
social, and economic backgrounds to live in dignity, harmony and mutual respect.
With offices in Foster City, Oakland, Santa Rosa and Watsonville, MidPen works in
11 Northern California counties. For more information visit: www.midpen‐