A new set of laws allow recreational vehicles and small homes on wheels to be parked by Oakland residents on private property.
The policies passed unanimously on Tuesday aims to help address the housing and homelessness crisis in the city.
RVs and tiny homes, which are still covered with rent control regulations, are permitted by the new policies to park on private areas and on locations where housing is allowed. However, they are banned on city streets as well as in areas owned by the state.
There is no definite number yet on property owners that would benefit from the policies and whether it could really address the lack of housing.
The council’s decision to support a “historic ordinance that creates more housing affordability and security for Oaklanders” was recognized by Mayor Libby Schaaf, who said in a statement: “Today’s action means Oakland is a national leader in addressing the housing crisis by updating our zoning and building codes to promote flexibility and innovation, including the legalization of safe RVs and tiny homes on private property.”
Schaaf and Council Members Shang Thao and Dan Kalb have introduced the new policies following the housing crisis experienced by Oakland. The city also suffered high homelessness and growing encampments.
A 47 percent increase was recorded in Oakland’s homeless population from 2017 to 2019, which ballooned to 4, 071. According to city staff, the population has recorded an increase amid the pandemic.
Over a couple of years, people who take shelter on vehicles in 2019 have increased by 131 percent, with 1, 430 vehicle dwellers in total. The people who live in vehicles reflect 35 percent of the city’s homeless population, San Francisco Chronicle reported.
As Oakland tries to find ways to create more housing to cover the demand as the construction costs skyrocket, its leaders are considering more creative ways to tackle the problem. A couple of tiny home villages will be opened by council members this month, among other ways for the city to address the housing problem.