June 2, 2015 – East Lake United For Justice and other Oakland community groups assisted by Public Advocates, PILP and Seigel & Yee delay approval of luxury condo development on City-owned property that failed to include housing affordable to very low income households. After hearing from over 90 community members and being presented with a letter from the attorneys demanding that the City Council refrain from approving the development because the City site was not first offered for development of affordable housing, the Council postponed the scheduled approval to a later date.
California’s Surplus Lands Act requires city-owned property offered for sale, to first be offered to nonprofit developers of affordable housing. If a sale for an affordable housing development cannot be worked out, the Act allows the sale of the property for market rate housing but requires that at least 15% of the units be reserved for and affordable to low and very low income households. (Low income households are those with an income between 50% and 80% of median, and very low income households are those with an income of 50% of median or below.) The City failed to first make the site available to nonprofit developers and then, in its proposed ordinance allowing sale to a market rate housing developer, failed to require that 15% of the units be affordable to low and very low income households.