Tell City Council - Berkeley Must Support Equitable Development!

Next Wednesday (1/18) at 4pm, Berkeley City Council will be making final adjustments and voting to adopt the state-mandated Housing Element, setting into motion City plans to meet the 2023-2031 Regional Housing Needs Assessment target of nearly 9,000 homes. 

As currently planned, however, these 9,000 homes will not be built equitably throughout Berkeley. Following our legacy of redlining and segregation, only 5.4% of these new units would go in Berkeley's whitest neighborhoods. Just 2.6% of these units would be in Berkeley's highest income areas. 

The entirety of North Berkeley could see less than 3% of total new development citywide. Nearly 70% of the new homes are slated to go in West and South Berkeley, with 55% of the new homes planned to go in Berkeley's lowest-income neighborhoods. 

This flies in the face of City and State commitments to affirmatively further fair housing. We're asking Berkeley City Council to do the right thing commit to developing new zoning standards for commercial and transit corridors in Berkeley's highest resource neighborhoods, as well as facilitating new infill housing in predominantly single-home neighborhoods.

Click here to ask the City Council to support equitable development!  (We encourage you to personalize the letter with descriptions of why this is important to you as a Berkeley resident.)

We’re asking the City Council to commit to allowing new housing in commercial areas along Solano, North Shattuck, and College Ave - wealthy areas well-served by transit and close to destinations, making it easy for residents to get around without a car. We believe that this is a critical step towards making Berkeley a more equitable, walkable, and affordable community. We’re also asking that the Council revise the proposed constraints on “missing middle” infill housing, to make 2-, 3- and 4-plexes easier to build in areas now effectively limited to single-family use.

City Council will be discussing and voting on the draft Housing Element at a special meeting on Wednesday, January 18th at 4pm. Click here for the agenda and find the Zoom link here. Click the link above to send an email, or join the meeting by Zoom to make public comment.

Link to City of Berkeley Housing Element Overview


About Berkeley Neighbors for Housing and Climate Action

Berkeley Neighbors for Housing and Climate Action (BNHCA) is an all-volunteer group of Berkeley residents. We are self-funded and take no donations. We have a Steering Committee that organizes our various actions, such our events, newsletters, other communications such as Twitter, and occasional statements such as letters to the Council and other items.

BNHCA advocates for the construction of more homes in Berkeley for all income levels, especially for our lower-income neighbors. Creation of significantly more housing is the most environmentally sound and equitable solution to our shared housing and climate crises. Climate change is the foremost threat to the planet, and transportation is the single greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions in both Berkeley and California. Berkeley's housing shortage directly contributes to these rising climate change emissions by forcing middle- and low-income workers into increasingly long and miserable commutes. By creating transit-rich, diverse, and walkable neighborhoods, we can be a regional leader in tackling climate change while becoming a more affordable, equitable and lively city for ourselves and future generations.

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