End Homelessness - A REAL vacancy tax can do it.
Don't allow landlords to circumvent the tax solely by having one low-income unit - potentially in a building of dozens of units. Only allow them to avoid the tax on each unit that is affordable.
This is happening all across America. Builders have a right to build. A better solution is to help people relocate out of Oakland to those more affordable units in America. $25,000/person could help relocate 4,000 people at a cost of only $100 million. To home ownership not unaffordable apartments. Oakland has spent more than $300 million for homeless with no long term results.
Make the State and Fed. Government pay for housing; Even if that means tenants have to move to another state.
The vacancy tax should also be applied to lots, and commercial structures that are left vacant likewise for speculation purposes. The thing that concerns me is that without increased Section 8 funds, and a mandate to make units available to Sec 8 recipients, this will not alleviate the homeless problem. Tenants still have to pay utilities. I think it is impossible to build or maintain a 1-br unit for less than $1000 monthly in this area. Out of reach for most homeless. Tents a better solution.
Investors are making sick amounts of money while displacing longterm residents. Their greed is making Oakland unaffordable for low-income and working-class folks. Our city should not make it so easy for them.
This solution is not grounded in reality. Oakland has a historically low vacancy rate, which is a symptom of a housing shortage. When vacancy rates increase, rents decrease. Landlords do not get extra tax breaks for keeping units vacant. They already have the incentive of receiving thousands of dollars in rent. A more effective tax would be on underutilized land such as surface parking lots and vacant lots. Higher holding costs could incentivize development.
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