The shield and the sword: Two tools to address the housing crisis

The crisis cannot be addressed merely by new construction nor in implementing anti-displacement measures alone, says Rooted in Home, a November 2018 report from nonprofits Urban Habitat and the East Bay Community Law Center exploring alternatives to market-based land and housing.

State Sen. Nancy Skinner introduces bill to offer legal aid for at-risk tenants

In introducing the bill, Skinner said she wanted to replicate the success of Keeping Oakland Housed, according to the press release.  Founded Oct. 15, Keeping Oakland Housed partners with Bay Area Community Services, Catholic Charities of the East Bay, and the East Bay Community Law Center to provide legal representation and financial assistance to Oakland residents.

Oakland shuts down encampment day after protest

The residents took that to mean that the city would not be moving forward with the closure until the meeting, and that there would be negotiation between the city and the residents regarding whether they could stay at the site. They were shocked when crews and police showed up Thursday afternoon to kick them out.  “It’s a flat-out betrayal,” said Osha Neumann of the East Bay Community Law Center.

Oakland’s plan to battle homelessness: Stop it before it starts

In the view of Frank Martin, deputy director of the East Bay Community Law Center, the legal services offered by Keep Oakland Housed will give pause to property managers looking to evict tenants as a ploy to boost rent.“Generally speaking, 90 percent of landlords have lawyers and 90 percent of tenants do not,” he says. “That makes for an imbalance and leads to people losing their cases even when they have legitimate reasons for why they couldn’t pay their rent. Having lawyers who will negotiate settlements with landlords or who show up in court with tenants levels the playing field.”

New Berkeley Anti-Homeless Law Aims to Clear Sidewalks

But Osha Neumann, an attorney with the East Bay Community Law Center, responded that “to regulate objects is a surrogate to regulating people.” Neumann added that he believes the “impetus for this is the new BART Access Corridor.”

‘The Oakland we knew is not going to remain’

“I go from a block where there are tents lining the sidewalk, to a block where there are Teslas and Mercedes lining the sidewalk,” said Osha Neumann, a staff attorney with the East Bay Community Law Center. “It’s almost like we’re dividing into two species. And it’s increasingly difficult for people to move from the streets, from the bottom, anywhere up away from there.”

Berkeley Marina vehicular community holds press conference with demands to city

Residents and allies of the vehicular community at the Berkeley Marina held a press conference Monday to demand access to basic needs facilities and call for an end to the city’s order to move or risk losing their homes.  Several speakers gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center about 12:30 p.m., including City Councilmember Cheryl Davila and Osha Neumann, a supervising attorney at the East Bay Community Law Center, according to Yesica Prado, a Berkeley Marina vehicular resident.

Berkeley Marina RV dwellers forced to move

“The situation they’re up against is that Berkeley has essentially made it illegal to live in a vehicle anywhere within the city limits,” said Osha Neumann, with the East Bay Community Law Center.