Housing & Community Development

Who we are and what we do

Objectives

  1. Provide transparent, American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, regular reporting on outcomes disaggregated by race;
  2. Expand anti-displacement programs, policies and initiatives focused on most vulnerable populations; and
  3. Expand access and opportunity to and for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) developers, service providers, and other contractors to City housing resources.


Business Goals

  • Release the two-year Agency Strategic Action Plan in spring 2021 that focuses on Protection, Preservation, and Production.
  • Execute organizational plans to ensure equitable, efficient, data-driven, financially sound programming and policies.
  • Spend state award of $3.7 million per year to support local operating subsidy program for housing units serving people experiencing homelessness.
  • Spend state award of $5 million of Local Housing Trust Fund dollars for new construction of affordable housing.
  • Expand technical assistance, outreach, and legal support to tenants facing eviction through the Rent Adjustment Program, including a recommendation to Council for a Rental Registry.
  • Expand targeted protection and anti-displacement activities with U.S. Treasury federal monies for renters and homeowners through Keep Oakland Housed and other regional efforts.
  • Expand Residential Lending Programs to rehabilitate and preserve 1-4 properties, including Accessory Dwelling Units, that provide up to $150,000 in loan funds.
  • Identify sustainable resources to fund affordable housing development including Homekey and other competitive funding programs.
  • Collaborate with City agencies to prepare and execute phased affordable housing development strategy for public lands.

BUREAUS/DIVISIONS

Administration

Provides the overall executive management of the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) including strategic direction, personnel, fiscal policy, and data management. HCD’s Fiscal unit includes budget, loan servicing, and accounting services.



Community Development & Engagement

Serves as the virtual front door for Oakland’s residents seeking information, referrals, and other housing-related services. CDE staff proactively attend community events, answer calls, host information sessions and trainings on relevant housing topics. HCD also serves as the City’s program administrator for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), an annual federal grant. The City utilizes CDBG funds to rebuild and revitalize blighted areas and sustain neighborhoods. CDBG provides funding for housing, homeless services, other public services, economic development, and other public infrastructure and neighborhood improvements benefitting low and moderate-income residents in seven Community Development Districts of Oakland. In 2021-2023, staff will revamp its citizen participation process to identify community needs and uses of CDBG funds. Staff provide technical assistance to the seven Community Development District Boards and monitor contracts and programs. Staff also serve as the lead preparers for the City’s Consolidated Annual Action Plan and Consolidated Annual Performance & Evaluation Reports, both submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development for the CDBG, Emergency Solutions Grant, HOME Investments Partnership, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS programs and other Federal grants administered by the City.



Rehabilitation & Residential Lending

This unit provides direct financial and technical assistance for the purchase of homes and minor-to-substantial rehabilitation, including Accessory Dwelling Units, to very-low, and low- and moderate-income persons. Staff aids owners and first-time homebuyers about refinancing, purchasing, and maintaining homes to promote safe, healthy, and accessible neighborhoods, to identify and thwart predatory lending practices, as well as fraudulent home improvement contracting. Staff collaborates with lenders, general contractors, code enforcement, citizens, and other housing agencies to expand opportunities for all homebuyers and to provide rehabilitation construction management services that identify and correct health and safety hazards and code violations.

Priority is given to assisting seniors and disabled persons to maintain the independence and security of homeownership.



Housing Development Services

This program implements and leads the City’s affordable housing development programs. Staff works with for-profit and non-profit developers to revitalize neighborhoods and to increase housing opportunities through new construction, substantial rehabilitation, and preservation of rental and ownership housing for very low or low and moderate-income households. Staff implements the City’s biannual Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) process to make competitive funding awards for affordable housing projects; and monitors the City and Agency portfolio of over 116 projects to ensure proper management and maintenance and compliance with rent and income limits. Also, the staff manages several City-owned sites that are in the process of being developed as affordable housing. The City also runs the city’s first-time homeowner program via the Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) and Cal HOME loan programs, operating jointly with participating lenders, to assist low and moderate-income first-time homebuyers with the purchase of homes in the City of Oakland.



Rent Adjustment Program

The Rent Adjustment Program (RAP) is charged with administering rent regulation and eviction protection for the City of Oakland. Staff employ an active enforcement model of rent control and use extensive outreach to inform tenants and owners about their rights and obligations under the law and program regulations, maintains full and accurate records through reporting requirements, including eviction notices, provides mediation and dispute resolution services, and actively enforces the law and program regulations when it finds violations.

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART

SERVICE INVENTORY

External Services

Affordable Housing Loan Servicing

Underwrites, reviews, and administers loans for proposed affordable housing developments for Oakland residents.


Affordable Housing Monitoring and Policymaking

Monitors existing affordable housing properties with City affordability restrictions and property conditions. Assists with tracking of affordable housing production and preservation, and provide technical expertise for program and policy planning initiatives.


Loan Servicing

Underwrites, reviews, and administers loan applications for the purpose of repayment and subordination requests, including commercial, residential and rehabilitation grants and loans.


First-time Homebuyer Loan Program

Provides loan funding to first-time homebuyer Oakland residents and workers and creates homebuyer education activities.


Housing Resource Center

Supports via phone calls Oakland residents seeking housing assistance and information.


Code Compliance & Relocation Program

Reviews applications on tenant eligibility for relocation benefits in accordance with O.M.C. 15.60 and determines if City payment is appropriate. Assists tenants and property owners in understanding their rights and responsibilities under the law.


Fair Chance Access to Housing

Prepares informative materials that provide information and guidance on Fair Chance Access to Housing. Manages contract with East Bay Community Law Center to provide legal assistance to tenants. Coordinates with Just Cities which performs community outreach to vulnerable communities.


Oakland Housing Secure

Provides legal and direct financial support via HERA and Centro (nonprofit legal service providers) to Oakland tenants and homeowners at risk of displacement.


Keep Oakland Housed

Provides emergency rental and homeowner assistance to residents facing loss of their housing related to COVID-19 impacts via contracts with HERA, Centro, Catholic Charities East Bay, and BACS.


Rent Adjustment Program (RAP): Housing Counseling and Hearings

Provides holistic counseling to tenants and property owners regarding RAP laws, including just cause for eviction and eviction moratorium. Reviews petitions, hears cases, renders decisions, reviews appeals, coordinates appeal hearings before Rent Board.


Rent Adjustment Program (RAP): Community Engagement and Public Education

Prepares materials that provide information and guidance on rent and eviction laws at local, state and federal levels to educate public about their rights and responsibilities under these laws. Engages in extensive public outreach to disseminate this information.


Lead-Safe Paint and Access Improvement Grant Programs

The Lead Safe Housing Paint Program provides grants from $15,000 to $24,000 for exterior painting and lead hazard remediation. The Access Improvement Program provides grants from $15,000 to $24,000 for accessibility improvements to both rental property and property owned and occupied by disabled persons.


Grants for Earthquake Seismic Retrofitting of Apartment Buildings

The Safer Housing for Oakland Program (SHOP) offers grants to reimburse owners for a portion of the costs to seismically retrofit a multi-unit apartment building with a “soft-story” condition. The Earthquake-Safe Homes Program offers grants to owner-occupants of 1-4 unit properties for partial reimbursement of the cost of a seismic retrofit.


Minor Home Repair Program

The MHRP grant program provides financial assistance for home repairs up to $2,499 to correct immediate threats to the health and safety of low‐income homeowners in Oakland. Single unit residences, including mobile homes are eligible. This grant can be used to make minor plumbing, carpentry, electrical repairs and can be used for railing grab bars, toilets, water heaters, doors, locks and more.


Emergency Home Repair & Home Maintenance and Improvement Loan Programs

Provides Oakland's low-to-moderate income, senior and disabled homeowners with 0-3% interest bearing loans for home repair and rehabilitation from $15,000 to $150,000 to homeowners that require immediate attention to correct health and safety repairs, life-threatening hazards, and exterior appearance if blighted.


Community Development Block Grants (soon to be Community Engagement & Enforcement Unit)

Funds, monitors and reports CDBG funded services and projects that predominantly benefit low- and moderate-income residents of Oakland. Administers community engagement activities that informs Oakland residents and collects Oakland residents’ feedback.



Internal Services

Administration & Grant Management

Monitors department budget, pays vendors, prepares reports, and manages various grant programs.


Data Collection & Analysis

Develops various databases to collect data on evictions, rents, petitions and hearings, etc., to inform public policy and internal program design and improvements.