Statement Regarding the MacArthur Transit Village Project

For Immediate Release

OAKLAND, CA 12/16/16 —On Wednesday, December 14th, Council Member Dan Kalb and the developers of the MacArthur Transit Village, representatives of Boston Properties, held a meeting at Beebe Memorial Cathedral, a block or so away from the lot of the proposed building. The tensions were high in a room where home-owners arrived to communicate their disdain for new residents and young renters who feel the housing shortage personally. 

The project was met by complaints from some residents about the height of the apartment homes tower, and other minor aesthetic preferences. These anti-housing activists were not the only voices in the room however.  

Max Cantor, a nearby resident pointed out “The only way to break the link the between land values and affordability is to build more housing. On some level, I’ve got mine, but when I see my neighbors getting displaced, I grieve. Trying to hold on to some vision of the past isn’t going to work, the city is changing and we can either embrace that or put our heads in the sand and be surprised when people can’t afford to live here.” Members of East Bay Forward, a housing advocacy community, were also present and voiced support of the project. Tommaso Sciortino read a letter from Martha Ekdahl saying “I put my support behind this project because it would include more residents and being inclusionary is direly needed especially in light of the city of Oakland renewing its City of Refuge status.” 

Kieryn Darkwater, a new resident of Oakland closed with a pointed statement to the opposition: “I am offended that the people who oppose this project think their personal aesthetic is more important than my right to have a roof over my head. I applaud the developers and think the people who oppose this should get some perspective.”

This was an informal meeting where for the public to ask questions and provide comments. Barring any delays, the MacArthur Transit Village project will be going before the planning commission once again, on January 17th, 2017. 

 

East Bay Forward is a coalition dedicated to solving the housing crisis in the bay area. They meet monthly in Oakland or Berkeley, and spend their free time showing up at city meetings to fight for more housing. Find out more at eastbayforward.org 

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