Did you know that from 2014 to 2018 rents have increased by 35%? This all has to do with construction bringing in higher class people/families. Oakland is a beautiful diverse community and lots of community members are low or middle class people. The rent has already increased by 35% in 4 years and it will keep increasing, not only will the rent continue to increase, but so will the cost of food and more items, this will cause people to move away from Oakland. 

Oakland is changing negatively because of construction, it is bringing in more people but of higher class, causing prices in food, rent, etc. go up and it makes Oakland a less affordable place to live in.

Oakland is transforming in an awful way due to construction targeting wealthy people. In an article by J.K Dineen, he talks about new housing units in Oakland and who they are meant for, he states, ̈ The current construction boom in Oakland is mostly high-income housing” (Dineen). The construction in Oakland affects low-income families/people negatively but for high-income people it doesn’t really matter. If  “wealthier” people move in it causes prices like food to increase and lower income people won’t be able to afford it. Since the construction is targeting high income people, it doesn’t benefit lower-income people and impacts them badly. Lower income households will have no where else to live. There’s so many new housing units being built but lower class or even middle class will not be able to afford them.

Oakland is changing negatively due to wealthier people moving in and causing a ripple effect. In an article by J.K Dineen he talks about new housing units being built in Oakland and who they are meant for he says that Oakland developers want to attract well-paid people. They are doing this by offering goods such as signing bonus’, dog facilities and more luxuries (Dineen).  These new housing units are meant for “well-paid” people. If more wealthy people move in, it not only increases the rent, but in increases food prices, and more objects that oaklanders use on a daily basis or that they live off of. These new housing units do not benefit lower class people or low-income people/families. This needs to stop because the city of Oakland should benefit ALL of Oakland and it’s community members whether they’re low, middle or high income people/households the city of Oakland shouldn’t exclude people because we are all apart of the same community.

Oakland is changing due to rent increase in Oakland and it is causing displacement. In an article by Sarah Ravani, she talks about the new apartments being built and the prices. It also talks about the city‘s plan for the future and its housing and affordability. She points out, “From 2016 to 2019, retail rents in Oakland climbed about 15%, from an average of $25 per square foot to more than $29 per square foot” (Ravani). In a 3 year period retail rent increased by 15%. It increased to around $29 or more per square foot meaning that it has increased by $4+ per square foot since 2016. Low-income households can’t afford this increase in rent. Food, gas etc will also increase along with the rent. This is a ripple effect, now lower income households/families won’t be able to afford a lot over time. If they can’t afford rent, where will they live? A lot of people will be displaced, and they will have to move somewhere else. 

However, many people may think that the construction in Oakland is beneficial  because it is just making the city look nicer and it is just has a positive effect on Oakland. They may say that it is just a coincidence that rent is going up at the same time that construction is going on but, Eduardo Alvarez, an Oakland resident who has 10 years of construction experience stated, “In my opinion, I think these new buildings are being built and the repaving is going on to make the city prettier or look nicer. Possibly to attract people and have them live here, especially the wealthier people”(Alvarez). A construction worker who has knowledge in this topic stated that the construction in Oakland is meant to make the city nicer so that wealthier people want to come live here. It is not a coincidence that the construction in Oakland makes the rent go up so that low-income households can’t afford to live here in Oakland.

In conclusion, based on thorough research and interviews, it is clear that Oakland is changing negatively because of construction bringing in wealthier people and increasing rent. Since the construction in Oakland started happening there’s more wealthy people moving in and that is causing rent to go up and it’s making Oakland a less affordable place to live in. This causes a ripple effect meaning that if wealthy people move in, it not only causes rent to go up but also items like food, gas and more goods that the community lives off of or that they need in their daily life.  This is unacceptable because Oakland is a beautiful place with lots of diversity and it’s such a diverse culture and it would be a shame for people to leave this city. In all my years that I’ve lived in Oakland which is basically my whole life, I’ve seen many great things. I’ve seen our community come together and all the cultures come together and unite. Our community is nonchalant and is a great place. Construction will cause lower- income households to move because they may not be able to afford living in Oakland and that is a shame. The Oakland community needs to congregate and come to a consensus to stop this.

Annotated Bibliography

Alvarez, Eduardo. “Construction in Oakland.” 25 Nov. 2019.

This interview was about the effects that construction has on Oakland, Alvarez gave his opinion on the current construction situation in Oakland. Eduardo Alvarez has worked in construction for 10 years, meaning he has knowledge on this topic. He is an Oakland resident and has lived here his whole life. 

Dineen, J.K. “Oakland on Course to Create More New Housing Units than SF in 2019.” SFChronicle.com, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Aug. 2019, www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-dominates-SF-in-housing-production-14295592.php.

This article was about the new housing units being built in Oakland and what tactics developers are using to attract “well paid” people. This article also talks about the rent increase in Oakland since these units were built. J.K Dineen joined the San Francisco Chronicle in 2014 and focused on real estate and housing. This article was published on August 12, 2019, meaning that it is pretty recent. 

Ravani, Sarah. “Downtown Oakland Businesses Strain under Weight of Apartment Building Boom.” SFChronicle.com, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 Aug. 2019, https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Downtown-Oakland-businesses-strain-under-weight-14341892.php.

This article talks about the new apartments being built and the prices. It also talks about the city‘s plan for the future and its housing and affordability. Sarah Ravani joined the San Francisco Chronicle in 2016 after graduating from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. This article was published on August 2019 so it is recent.

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1 Comment
  1. Samuel 5 months ago

    Melissa,

    Thanks for writing this insightful article about rental rates in Oakland. While doing your research for this article, did you discover what impact platforms like Airbnb are having on the rental markets? I am use Airbnb and host short term rentals. I wondering in the long term is Airbnb making it more difficult for rent affordability ?

    Reed
    Educator U School

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