Emily Weinstein was announced Friday as the City of Oakland’s new permanent director of the Housing & Community Development Department (HCD).
Director Weinstein’s passion for affordable housing and community development is rooted in the city of Oakland, where she was born and raised. For the past 25 years Emily has spearheaded comprehensive housing and community development initiatives in some of the most economically challenged and under-resourced neighborhoods in California.
“Housing and community safety are the two issues I know matter most to the Oakland community, and they are our administration’s highest priorities,” Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said. “Our approach to the homelessness and affordable housing crisis aggressively invests in affordable housing and protections for renters to help prevent homelessness. Director Weinstein is a proven leader in this field who brings a track record of success leveraging funding sources and delivering results, making great strides toward the housing outcomes Oakland needs. Of course, this issue is bigger than Oakland alone, and as we pursue regional solutions she is also a team-builder who will strengthen our partnerships across government agencies and private partners to deliver more of the housing we need.”
“I am honored to continue leading Oakland HCD at this critical moment in Oakland’s history. Stable, affordable housing is foundational to the health and vibrancy of our neighborhoods, and the Department is committed to aggressive housing production and preservation goals that help move people off the street into safe and quality homes.” Director Weinstein said. “Oakland HCD will continue to innovate and partner with the Mayor, councilmembers, and our stakeholders to drive policy and programs that center equity and help create thriving communities for Oaklanders.”
Director Weinstein is a born-and-raised Oaklander who previously led the department as its interim director. In her eight months in the interim role, Director Weinstein and her team:
- Spearheaded an exhaustive community engagement process to create the Department’s 2023-2027 Strategic Action Plan
- Led the development of an Equitable Investment Framework to guide the Department's capital investments over the next eight years, focusing on permanent supportive housing
- Unlocked more than $68 million to move 100% affordable housing projects forward with a focus on increasing the number of developers of color and units of permanent supportive housing
- Successfully applied for more than $15.5 million in the State's Homekey Round 3 program for the conversion of a hotel into 47 units of new permanent supportive housing
- Were awarded an additional $40.7 million in State Infill Infrastructure Grant Catalytic program funds to support 673 affordable housing units across Oakland
- Implemented the launch of the City's rent registry for property owners of units covered by the Rent Adjustment Ordinance and Just Cause
HCD now reports that 768 units of housing are currently under construction, with construction on another 215 units expected to break ground in the first Quarter of 2024. This includes more than 400 units of permanent supportive housing for those exiting homelessness.
Prior to becoming interim director, Director Weinstein has served as HCD’s Deputy Director of Community Development, leading the department through a strategic planning process to guide the City’s investment of $350 million in Measure U bond funds, launching the City’s homelessness prevention pilot program and guiding the Community Development and Engagement and Rent Adjustment Program teams.
Prior to joining the City, Director Weinstein’s worked as an independent strategy consultant advising developers and public agencies on how to maximize the economic, social and health equity outcomes of their projects by applying a wide set of community-centered strategies throughout the real estate development process. Director Weinstein spent more than 10 years at BRIDGE Housing where she served as the Director of Rebuild Potrero and then as the Director of the Community Development and Evaluation Department. While at BRIDGE she pioneered the Trauma Informed Community Building model, which has been emulated across many other developments seeking to meaningfully address the multiple challenges faced by low income, historically excluded communities.
Director Weinstein earned a dual degree in City Planning and Real Estate Development from MIT and recently completed a fellowship as a Culture of Health Leader for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She also served two terms as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Oakland.