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City of Oakland Seeks Applicants for New Homeless Advisory Commission

9-member board recommends strategies to remedy homelessness and advises on priorities for Vacant Parcel Tax funds for homeless services

Oakland, CA – The City of Oakland is establishing its first-ever Homeless Advisory Commission and is seeking nine qualified Oakland residents to sit on the inaugural board. City Councilmembers make recommendations on Commissioners to the Mayor, who appoints them for the Council’s confirmation.

The Homeless Advisory Commission was created by Measure W, the Vacant Parcel Tax ballot measure, a special parcel tax on vacant properties to support homeless services and address illegal dumping, passed by Oakland voters in November 2018. The Homeless Advisory Commission is charged with making recommendations to the City Council about strategies to remedy homelessness and providing oversight of the Vacant Property Tax, which is anticipated to generate about $7 million per year for homeless and illegal dumping services.

“The impacts of COVID-19 on our economy in general, and on housing insecurity and homelessness in particular, make this Commission more important than ever,” said Mayor Schaaf. “I look forward to collaborating with the Council in seating and launching Oakland’s first-ever Homeless Advisory Commission in November 2020.”

The Homeless Advisory Commission will:

  • Review financial and operational reports related to the expenditure of the Vacant Parcel Tax homeless services fund.
  • Publish recommendations on how to prioritize the allocation of funds for services and programs for homeless people and the impacts of programs funded by the Vacant Property Tax.
  • Make recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council regarding homelessness priorities and present budget recommendations for the prioritization of Vacant Parcel Tax funds for each two-year budget.
  • Review and respond to the City’s Homeless Encampment Policy and the Permanent Access to Housing (PATH) plan.
  • Hear reports on the housing, programs, and services for people experiencing homelessness in Oakland, including street outreach, homeless shelters, transitional housing, housing exits, and permanent supportive housing.

The Homeless Advisory Commission is comprised as follows:

  • Consists of nine (9) members who are all residents of the City.
  • No less than half of the members must be residents of heavily impacted neighborhoods.
  • No fewer than two (2) members must be currently homeless, formerly homeless or low- income, as the term "low income" is defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • No fewer than three (3) members must have professional expertise in, or be providers of, homeless services or housing, with priority given to individuals with a background in affordable housing, shelter management, or public health.
  • No fewer than one (1) representative must have financial expertise.
  • Members may fulfill more than one (1) of these criteria for the purposes of meeting these requirements.

Applications are new being accepted. Oaklanders interested in being considered for nomination should submit their application online at

The application period closes on Friday, October 16. The goal is to present a list of Commissioners for City Council’s confirmation in November 2020.

Oakland is suffering a serious housing crisis, making housing at all levels of affordability, and particularly affordable housing, scarce and unavailable for many Oakland residents. The 2019 point-in-time count estimated that there are 4,071 homeless people in Oakland, up 47% from two years ago. This represents about half of the total number of unsheltered residents in Alameda County.


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Posted: September 18th, 2020 12:23 PM

Last Updated: September 18th, 2020 12:26 PM

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