FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marie Choi, Asian Pacific Environmental Network
** MEDIA ADVISORY **
Community Organizations to Celebrate 16-year Organizing Campaign for Affordable Housing, Call On City to Require 30% On-Site Affordable Housing for All Luxury Developments
WHAT: Community organizations, city officials, and affordable housing developers will gather for a groundbreaking ceremony and celebration of Paseo Estero and Vista Estero, the first 211 of 465 planned affordable rental apartments developed by MidPen Housing at Brooklyn Basin. The affordable housing development includes apartments for seniors, deeply affordable housing for families making 30-60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) which in Alameda County is $69,720 for a four person household, and 3- and 4-bedroom apartments large enough for families.
These affordable housing developments are the result of a 16-year community organizing campaign by the Brooklyn Basin Community Benefits Coalition to ensure that the Brooklyn Basin development would benefit families living in the Chinatown, Eastlake, and San Antonio neighborhoods.
Paseo Estero and Vista Estero are expected to begin welcoming residents in late 2020. When complete, the Brooklyn Basin waterfront development will have 3,000 apartments – 465 of which will be affordable.
WHO: Brooklyn Basin Community Benefits Coalition
East Bay Asian Youth Center
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Oakland Community Organizations
Mayor Libby Schaaf
Oakland Housing Authority Executive Director Eric Johnson
WHEN: The ceremony begins at 10:30am. A light lunch will be served afterward.
WHERE: 845 Embarcadero, Oakland, CA
Please enter at the 9th Ave & Embarcadero entrance. Turn at the first right, and there will be parking available adjacent to the event site. Look for tents and parking attendees.
VISUALS: Groundbreaking ceremony,
“Our Long Road Home” gallery walk with photos of Chinatown, Eastlake, and San Antonio residents organizing to win affordable rental apartments at Brooklyn Basin.
BACKGROUND: The Brooklyn Basin Community Benefits Coalition, made up of East Bay Asian Youth Center, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and Oakland Community Organizations, formed 16 years ago when then-Mayor Jerry Brown ushered in the Brooklyn Basin project, a luxury housing development along Oakland’s waterfront, as part of a plan to bring 10,000 new residents to Oakland.
When the Brooklyn Basin project was announced, 800 people living in the neighborhoods right across the freeway-Chinatown, Eastlake, and San Antonio – came together at St. Anthony’s school gym to tell elected officials to ‘Build Oakland for Everyone.’
“Those Oaklanders – working class Asian, Latino, and Black, largely immigrant, speaking many different languages – made sure that as Brooklyn Basin was built, their neighborhoods and families would benefit from it,” said Andrew Nelsen, longtime staff member with the Brooklyn Basin Community Benefits Coalition. “For sixteen years, this Coalition of regular, everyday people, held together and kept working through 4 mayors, 4 City Council people and the worst recession in US history. Why? Because for our members and for our communities—for Chinatown, Little Saigon, Funk town, San Antonio Eastlake, the Dubs – this is home. Our members ARE Oakland. And we are not going anywhere.”
Through years of neighbors working together, the Brooklyn Basin Community Benefits Coalition won 465 affordable rental apartments on-site. This includes apartments for seniors, deeply affordable housing for families making 30-60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) which in Alameda County is $69,720 for a four person household, and 3- and 4-bedroom apartments large enough for families.
“We are thankful that we get the see the fruits of our labor today. 16 years have passed since we started this campaign and Oakland has changed a lot. Big developers are building more luxury housing and driving up rents for everyone else. More and more families are being pushed out of their homes and the cultural communities we’ve built over generations are being torn apart,” said JingJing He, Oakland Lead Organizer for Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). “We need to stabilize our communities. It’s time for city officials to pass inclusionary zoning requirements and make sure that all luxury development in Oakland includes at least 30% affordable housing.”
Details on Paseo Estero and Vista Estero
Paseo Estero will provide 36 one-bedroom, 15 two-bedroom, and 50 three-bedroom apartment homes for families earning up to 60% of Area Median Income (AMI) which in Alameda County is $69,720 for a four person household. Community amenities include a multi-purpose community room, computer lab, fitness center, courtyard, secured bicycle storage, and a children’s playground.
Vista Estero will provide 106 one-bedroom and 4 two-bedroom apartment homes for seniors earning up to 60% of Area Median Income (AMI) which in Alameda County is $48,840 for a one person household. The community is designed to support healthy living and allow seniors to age in place. Amenities include a community room, computer lab, balance studio, courtyard, secured bicycle storage and an arts and crafts room.
Brooklyn Basin Community Benefits Coalition is anchored by Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC) and Oakland Community Organizations (OCO)-with technical support from Urban Strategies Council. Together, we represent over 2000 low-income families and elders in the Chinatown, Eastlake and San Antonio neighborhoods of Oakland.
East Bay Asian Youth Center builds strategic partnerships with schools, city and county governments, and community organizations, and establishes trusting relationships with families to provide seamless services to support youth violence prevention, expanded learning, and civic and community engagement.
Asian Pacific Environmental Network organizes with working class Asian immigrants and refugees to make our communities healthier, just places where people can thrive.