Oakland – The City of Oakland is now the official proud owner of Clifton Hall Dormitory in the amenity rich, transit-friendly Rockridge neighborhood. The 63-unit, unoccupied building will provide deeply affordable, long- and short-term housing for Oakland seniors and families.
Funds for this acquisition were granted to the City of Oakland through the State’s Project Homekey program, created to protect Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness and are impacted by COVID-19.
“Oakland worked with urgency and compassion to move more than 100 unsheltered residents into their new homes at Clifton Hall this year,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. “While we have much more work ahead to end the homelessness crisis, we will continue to innovate and convert existing facilities into interim and permanent affordable housing for our most vulnerable. Thank you to Governor Newsom for creating Project Homekey, our community partners who worked at lightspeed, and our Oakland residents and neighbors who’ve welcomed this project with open arms.”
The building’s ground floor will house the offices of Family Front Door, which serves as the hub for the Coordinated Entry System (CES) for homeless families in Northern Alameda County. The second floor will become the permanent home for a 20-household family shelter; families begin moving in next week. The top two floors of the building provide 42 units of permanent housing for seniors experiencing homelessness and at high risk of contracting COVID-19.
“I’m thrilled that dozens of our unhoused families and seniors will have housing before the beginning of the new year thanks to the hard work of Oakland City Staff and our nonprofit partners,” said District 1 Councilmember Dan Kalb. “There continues to be a dire need for more affordable housing and I am committed to making that a top priority for North Oakland and our entire city in 2021.”
The City held a press conference on Wednesday, December 16 where Mayor Schaaf was joined by Councilmember Dan Kalb (District 1), Shola Olatoye, Housing & Community Development Director, Sara Bedford, Human Services Director, Wendy Jackson, East Oakland Collective Project (EOCP) Executive Director, Susan Friedland Satellite Affordable Associates (SAHA), Executive Director.
Below: City staff and partner agency statements; a recording of the 12/16 press conference; highlights from the 12/16 press conference; and a virtual tour of Clifton Hall dormitory.
“This project fits squarely within the City’s goals to provide more homes for our extremely low-income residents,” said Shola Olatoye, Director of Housing & Community Development. “I want to thank the residents first and foremost for trusting us and for taking this first step in making Clifton Hall a new home for you and your family.”
“This has been the epitome of ‘it takes a village’,” said Sara Bedford, Director of Human Services. “A massive interdepartmental, interagency, and community collaboration, this has been an investment in people and a huge step forward on the path to ending family homelessness in Oakland.” “This is a wonderful example of what can happen when everyone is on the same page trying to achieve part of the solution,” said EOCP Executive Director Wendy Jackson. “This was possible because everyone’s eye was on the prize – the prize of getting homeless families in a place where they can do better, get stabilized and move forward. I am just thrilled about it.” “Our non-profit has been providing affordable housing and supportive services for over 50 years in the Bay Area, and we have never seen a project go from conception to reality in this time type of timeline,” said SAHA Chief Executive Officer Susan Friedland. “It is really awe inspiring to see what can happen when a few things come together – a dire housing need, a building that is ready and available, political will and significant financial resources – when those four things come together, we know that lives can be changed.”
View the press conference here.
East Oakland Collective Project (EOCP)
East Oakland Community Project is a multi-service organization offering emergency and transitional housing in Alameda County. Their state-of-the art emergency housing facility, Crossroads provides dignified accommodations and holistic services to homeless people, including individuals battling HIV/AIDS. Over 16,000 of Alameda County’s homeless have come through our doors since 1990.
Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA)
SAHA’s innovative properties provide more than 4,000 residents in seven counties in northern California with much-needed affordable housing and services. With a commitment to high-quality design and thoughtful, ongoing supportive services, we empower our residents to build better lives and create healthier, safer communities.
Building on the success of Project Roomkey, Project Homekey is the next phase in the state’s response to protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness and are impacted by COVID-19.
Administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), $600 million in grant funding will be made available to local public entities, including cities, counties, or other local public entities, including housing authorities or federally recognized tribal governments within California to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other buildings and convert them into interim or permanent, long-term housing.
Of the $600 million in Homekey grant funds, $550 million is derived from the State’s direct allocation of the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief Funds (CRF), and $50 million is derived from the State’s General Fund.