Oakland, CA — The Housing Resource Center (HRC), a Housing & Community Development Department program, recently celebrated 5 years of service. The occasion was marked with a party attended by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, key department staff, and clients of the Center.
The HRC offers a streamlined, one-stop approach to housing services and resource referrals for Oakland homeowners, tenants, and landlords. The Center partners with local public and non-profit agencies to enhance access to a broad spectrum of housing- related services for Oakland residents. Initially opened to address the foreclosure crisis that affected many city residents, needs shifted and the HRC’s services expanded to include advocacy, referrals, legal assistance, and financial assistance for all Oaklanders.
“The Housing Resource Center is a hidden gem that has assisted hundreds of families, individuals, and seniors living in Oakland,” states Housing and Community Development Director Michele Byrd. “We took on the challenge of anti-displacement in a stratified economy. I am so excited to celebrate the successes of our clients, which would not be possible without the dedication of our small staff, and the meaningful partnerships they’ve developed with local community organizations.”
Using their knowledge of housing trends and feedback from clients about services, the HRC is actively developing new partnerships with local organizations, corporate sponsors, and interested individuals. Pamela Hall, a management counselor who began her work as a volunteer five years ago, is proud of the positive accomplishments, but not slowing down as her team looks toward the future and works to continue devising sustainable solutions and creating strong local partnerships. “I encourage organizations and individuals interested in working with the HRC to contact us. Our passionate and dedicated staff is small Working together with our community partners, we can continue to improve the lives of all Oakland residents.”
The anniversary event was also a reunion of sorts for past clients who shared their stories of struggle and triumph. One participant, Will, came to the Center with just a backpack. Through the resources of the HRC, Will now has his own apartment and a degree from Merritt College. Reflecting on his time at the HRC he notes, “Imagine waking up in a city that you’re unfamiliar with, and all you have is a backpack and your thoughts. No phone, no car, no roof over your head. We not only need more programs like this, we need more influential people like Ms. Pam, who care and are dedicated to helping all Oakland residents.”
The HRC staff are looking ahead to the next five years of service with enthusiasm. Byrd continues, “All Oakland residents should have decent and affordable housing in healthy, sustainable neighborhoods. And the Housing Resource Center looks forward to playing a pivotal role in the service of Oaklanders.”
Housing Resource Center – More Information
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 8:30am – 5pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (early closure for weekly staff meeting)
Rent Adjustment Program Analyst Hours (walk-in consultations):
Monday and Wednesday: 9am – noon
Tuesday and Thursday: 10am – noon; 2pm – 4pm
Centro Legal de la Raza (low-income tenant attorney support):
Monday and Wednesday: 9:30am – 1:30pm (first six eligible clients seen)
Referral to City, nonprofit, private, and other public resources
Housing advocacy to help Center customers navigate access to housing services
Streamlined information to City-funded housing services including:
-Foreclosure prevention and mitigation assistance for homeowners;
-Loans and grants for residential rehabilitation, home repair and energy retrofits for eligible residents;
-Information about first-time homebuyers’ assistance and workshops;
-Tenant petitions and landlord/tenant mediation through the Rent Adjustment Program.
Information and Referrals Include:
Listings for emergency, transition and affordable housing;
County programs for healthy housing services;
Home repair, weatherization, and energy efficiency services;
Financial resources for homeowners and tenants;
Counseling and legal services for tenants; landlord support resources.
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media