Oakland, CA – In a special meeting on Monday February 13, the Oakland City Council authorized emergency funding of up to two million dollars to pay for hotel costs for Coliseum Connections apartments tenants who were displaced on December 31, 2022. The City is expected to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.)
The Coliseum Connections building incurred severe storm-related flooding and electrical damage and, as a result, 108 households living in the half market-rate, half affordable housing property have been displaced and living in hotel rooms since New Year’s Eve. Approximately 2/3 of the displaced households contain children. Private funding that has been paying for hotel expenses since the initial relocation expires after Monday, February 13, 2023.
“This has been an incredibly difficult time for residents of Coliseum Connections. As someone who has experienced displacement and homelessness I know how important it is that our Town do everything we can to support them,” said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. “As soon as we learned residents could lose their transitional housing, the City went to work and the Council sprang into action to pass emergency legislation to provide continued transitional housing. We couldn’t allow residents to lose housing and potentially end up on the street. We are One Oakland and we will continue to work together to support our residents.”
The City of Oakland’s Housing & Community Development Department (HCD) Housing Resource Center has worked extensively with the property owner and displaced residents at the building to ensure residents received temporary housing, as well as $500 payments for immediate assistance under the City’s Code Enforcement Relocation Program. Under the program, the property owner is responsible for payments.
"The California winter storms and multiple climate disasters has shed light on many social inequalities for marginalized communities exposed to the most damage and least able to recover financially,'' said District 6 Council member Kevin Jenkins. "I am committed to helping our residents recover rapidly and with dignity, especially in times of natural disaster."
"I want to extend my sincerest apologies to our displaced neighbors of Coliseum Connections for the trauma they have endured following the torrential atmospheric river storms that led to their displacement. The magnitude of this crisis has taken a significant toll on their health and quality of life,” said Councilmember Treva Reid. “Our swift and unified response to their advocacy with expedited funding and increased accountability was critical to prioritize their immediate needs as we work to transition them back into permanent housing. I will continue to stand firm with Councilmember Jenkins in our collective efforts to ensure that our East Oakland residents recover with the urgent action underway."
“The impact to the Coliseum Connections community has been devastating for the many residents and families,” said G. Harold Duffey, Interim City Administrator. “The City of Oakland has been coordinating across a wide range of government and community partners to aggregate resources necessary to help all involved.”
In addition, staff has coordinated with BART, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and County Housing & Community Development Department staff and the Oakland Housing Authority.
City of Oakland Code Enforcement Officers inspected the building to identify remediation requirements and are working with the property owner to bring the building back up to code. City staff are coordinating with Alameda County Health to ensure health and safety requirements are met. The City will expedite the electrical permit and prioritize for same-day approval.