E12th Coalition Joins Forces with SAHA Housing Developer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/05/15
CONTACT: Amy Vanderwarker, (510) 504-8413

Leading Affordable Housing Developer and Community Group Announce Partnership for E 12th Proposal

SAHA and E 12th Wishlist Design Team Join Forces To Propose 100% Affordable Housing Development On Public Land

Oakland CA – Today, Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) and the E 12th Wishlist Design Team announced a new partnership to advance a community-led, 100 percent affordable housing development on the E 12th parcel. The proposed project is the result of an extensive community engagement process led by the E 12th Wishlist Design Team and other community groups in the area.

“The design process led by the E12th Wishlist Design Team is inspiring and brings us back to what drew us to community development and affordable housing in the first place. The proposal is truly a reflection of community desires for the E 12th parcel, and we are thrilled to bring our 40 plus years of experience, creating over 60  affordable housing  developments, to help make this vision a reality,” said Eve Stewart, Director of Development at SAHA.

The E 12th Wishlist Design Team submitted a formal proposal for the E 12th Remainder Parcel to the City of Oakland on September 15th 2015. The E 12th Wishlist Design Team developed a building design after several months of community outreach, including surveying 300 residents in the Eastlake neighborhood in multiple languages and hosting a community design forum. Since September, the E 12th Wishlist Design Team and SAHA have been in conversation about a partnership that combines SAHA’s extensive development expertise with the community connections of the E 12th Wishlist Design Team.

“When there was a consistent failure to engage residents in a meaningful public process, we took matters into our own hands. The result is a building design that expresses the needs and desires of the Eastlake community. We are thrilled that SAHA is bringing their knowledge of financing, construction, and design to make our proposal even more competitive,” explained Ayohenia Chaney, a resident of Eastlake and member of the E 12th Wishlist Design Team.

“The City of Oakland wants to maximize density on the E 12th parcel, and our proposal has achieved this exact goal by creating a range of unit types for working families,” said Eric Saijo, another Design Team member, architect and resident of the Eastlake neighborhood. The majority of units are designed to house families in 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. The design also includes community and commercial space, a community garden, a playground, and active open space.

The E 12th parcel was opened up to new proposals after months of community organizing, advocacy and legal challenges to the original, proposed luxury housing development.

“This proposal is a proactive response to the housing affordability crisis facing so many people in Oakland right now,” said Monica Garcia of Eastlake United for Justice, one of the organizations that has been fighting the original proposed tower. “We want to see development that doesn’t exacerbate rising housing costs in the Eastlake area. A luxury tower on public land is not the right choice for our the city.”

Oakland is now ranked the nation’s fifth most expensive rental market, with African American residents some of the hardest hit by the city’s affordability crisis. The proportion of African Americans in all Oakland neighborhoods decreased by nearly 40 percent between 1990 and 2011. In her recent State of the City speech, Mayor Schaaf touted 15,000 new housing units in the works, but only approximately 6% will be reserved for low-income residents.

“In San Francisco, voters just passed Proposition K, which prioritizes using public land for affordable housing. The City of Oakland’s Housing Equity RoadMap, passed earlier this year, made a similar recommendation. There is growing recognition that public lands represent unique opportunities to ensure affordable housing is built, especially at a time when prices are skyrocketing,” said Chaney.

“The E 12th Wishlist Design Team / SAHA proposal sets an important precedent for how to develop a community-led vision for using public land for public good. This is exactly the kind of project we need in the midst of a housing crisis,” said Saijo.

The original E 12th Wishlist Design Team proposal, which is currently being updated and refined, is available at: http://bit.ly/1Q76uIX. 

The City will be selecting a proposal for the E 12th parcel in the coming months.

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