Public Lands Strategy and Policy

The City owns a variety of public land across the City. Given the housing crisis and an increasing desire to activate sites, it is an opportune time to establish policies that will ensure these lands are put to good use, and that the parameters for their use are predictable for all stakeholders.


Working Group (Spring 2016)

In March 2016, the City published the report “Oakland at Home: Recommendations for Implementing A Roadmap Toward Equity From the Oakland Housing Cabinet,” which, along with the Mayor’s Housing Action Plan, included specific recommendations from a working group tasked with identifying policies and actions to give priority consideration to the development of affordable housing on City land, as well as depositing some portion of proceeds from the sale of City land into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (“AHTF”). On May 31, 2016, the CED Committee received recommendation from the working group.

Read “Oakland at Home: Recommendations for Implementing A Roadmap Toward Equity From the Oakland Housing Cabinet”

Read the report with recommendations from the working group (see attachment)

Community Engagement (Winter 2016 - Spring 2018)

The CED Committee directed staff to prepare an Ordinance to amend the Municipal Code sections on disposition of City land to include a process for soliciting proposals for affordable housing development, to include a provision that all residential projects include at least 15 percent of units as affordable, and to direct 30 percent of net sale proceeds to the AHTF. At the urging of community organizations, the City delayed action on the Ordinance and committed to further community engagement and a more deliberative process to consider potential amendments to the public lands policy.

Since December 2016, City staff have met regularly with members of the Oakland Citywide Anti-Displacement Network (“CWN”), a consortium of 10 organizations, in a deliberative process intended to craft recommendations for an amended public lands policy.

Policy Proposals (June 2018 - Present)

On June 26, 2018, City Council's Community & Economic Development Committee (CED) heard a report on three proposed policy alternatives for developing City-owned land: one from staff, one from two Councilmembers, and one from the CWN. All the proposals seek to use City land to accelerate the production of much-needed affordable housing, and would add more transparency and community engagement in evaluating proposed development. However, their differences represent key policy tradeoffs that could affect project outcomes, costs and revenues.

Read reports relating to the different policy proposals see attachments)

Read the assumptions used to model the different policy proposals

Click here to access the data backup for the related reports

View the infographic document for a simplified summary of projected results from the 3 proposals that have been presented to City Council.

On December 14, 2018, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 87483 C.M.S., along with amendments introduced on the floor, setting forth a policy framework for a Public Lands Policy, and directing the City Administrator to return to Council with an ordinance to codify these policies into law.

On August 15, 2019, the City Council received an informational memorandum on the status of the Public Lands Policy Ordinance, along with supplemental attachments.

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