Let Oakland’s City Council Know that Housing Is a Human Right

Posted by on May 5, 2021 in Economic Justice Committee Blog | No Comments

The Homeless Action Committee in conjunction with Love and Justice in the Streets is asking that you utilize the following information to advocate with Oakland City Council members.

Council members Fife, Fortunato Bas and Kaplan appear to be strong allies for assisting homeless people.

Council members Gallo, Kalb, Thao and Reid could definitely use some encouragement from their constituents.

Council member Taylor seems to be in support of the existing policy.

You can call your City Council person or email them.

Thank you in advance for taking this action.

The Oakland City Auditor just issued a scathing report on Oakland’s treatment of its homeless residents. Oakland has wasted millions of dollars evicting residents from encampments. With no coherent policy in place and poor management, the city focused its efforts on evicting residents from encampments rather than on providing services or alternative housing to unhoused residents. Thousands of people remain on the street living in poor conditions. The audit should serve as a wakeup call. Oakland should focus its efforts on supporting its thousands of unhoused residents, 70% of whom are Black, and getting them into safe, sanitary low income housing.

The newly enacted Encampment Management Policy, which also focuses on eviction rather than providing alternative housing and services, must be repealed to avoid continuing down the same path of moving people from one sidewalk to another. It’s expensive and inhumane. Plans to provide alternative housing and services must be developed and funded. This will be a more productive expenditure of city funds which will better serve both housed and unhoused Oaklanders.

The Homeless Advocacy Working Group (HAWG) has proposed a budget to support the unhoused (including funds for sanitation, habitability upgrades, co-governed encampments, insurance, transitional housing, alternative shelter and parking) which is a step in the right direction and should be included in the new City budget.

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