This week at Berkeley City Council, East Bay Forward organized a turnout of nearly 50 YIMBYs, urbanists, EBFers, and everyday people impacted by our housing shortage. The rule of East Bay Forward is Show Up, and Show Up we did.
A proposed increase in affordable housing impact fees was delayed for two weeks and a feasibility study on the increase was brought back from the dead. Additionally, a proposed downzoning of Berkeley was continued to a future city council meeting.
If East Bay Forward had not shown up for housing, we'd see impact fees in Berkeley raised to the maximum price determined to be feasible by the city's 2015 Nexus study and no study to consider the impacts of such a drastic change.
However, there is more yet to do! Because these items are being continued to the next city council meeting.
East Bay Forward is asking you to write your city councilor and let them know how you feel. You can reach the entire council at once via firstname.lastname@example.org, or chose from below:
- Linda Maio, email@example.com
- Cheryl Davila, cdavila@CityofBerkeley.info
- Ben Bartlett, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kate Harrison, kharrison@CityofBerkeley.info
- Sophie Hahn, email@example.com
- Susan Wengraf, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kriss Worthington, email@example.com
- Lori Droste, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mayor Jesse Arreguin, email@example.com
Let the City of Berkeley know: Impact fees are not a sustainable way to produce affordable housing. They increase rents for those of us unlucky enough to win the affordable housing lottery, have chilling effects on housing both affordable and market rate development, and last but not least: do nothing to build affordable housing faster.
Equally important, we need to be demanding an upzoning of North Berkeley. If impact fees have a chilling effect on producing housing, an upzoning of exclusionary neighborhoods that have spent decades organizing against housing will be a massive boost to producing more housing towards ending our crisis-level shortage. Impact fees that fund affordable housing cede ground on fair taxation regimes, but they also mean building more market housing is needed to produce affordable housing. An upzoning along with approval streamlining means more affordable housing faster.
Finally, East Bay Forward is organizing meetings with elected officials. If you're willing and able to meet with them, please sign up and let us know.