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Berkeley

Learn more about your city’s housing needs, and its policies and progress towards meeting those housing needs.
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Diversity Index
1.29
of 1.79 maximum
Rent Burden
56%
rent burdened
Affordable Housing Production
44%
low and very low income permits issued
Housing Policies
17/26
policies adopted

Local Needs

These conditions contribute to your community’s housing needs.

Diversity Index

1.29
of 1.79 maximum

The diversity index is developed by our partners at National Equity Atlas and defined as follows:

The diversity index measures the representation of six major racial/ethnic groups (White, Black, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, and Mixed/other race) in the population. The maximum diversity score (1.79) would occur if each group were evenly represented in the region.

What's the impact?

Though the Bay Area has historically been one of the most diverse regions in the country, the Black and Native American populations have been steadily declining because of displacement. 

Read more about how the lack of affordable housing affects your community -  through the racial and economic lens of your community’s residents.

Rent Burden

56%
rent burdened

For most Californians, especially in the Bay Area, the largest share of their monthly income goes to housing. Those who contribute more than 30% of their gross income on housing are considered “rent burdened” according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. And those who pay more than 50% of their gross income on housing are considered “Severely Rent Burdened”.

What's the impact?

Nearly half of all Bay Area renters are rent-burdened, and 60% of Black and 55% of Latino renters are rent-burdened. Because so much of our rent-burdened neighbors’ gross income goes towards paying rent, that leaves less room for paying for other goods and services like warm clothes and nightly dinners. Lowering the amount a household pays for housing increases the budget for other essential needs, which will eventually lead to saving money overall and potentially building wealth.

Let us know if we got something wrong.

Affordable Housing Production

44%
low and very low income permits issued

Every city and county is required by law to plan for local housing needs for every level of affordability every decade according to the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). The progress towards meeting these housing goals can be tracked over time by measuring the number of housing permits issued by local cities and counties.

What's the impact?

The number of permits your city issued determines whether it can meet its housing goals. Is your city planning for housing for every new job created, every baby born, or every existing worker who is commuting from out of town and wants to live closer to their job? Moreover, cities need to plan for homes at all affordability levels. While many cities across the Bay Area are on their way to meeting their goals for above moderate-income housing, they are severely lagging on issuing permits for very low- and low-income housing.

Let us know if we got something wrong.

Housing Policies

17/26
policies adopted

Housing policies are the strategies and laws that cities and counties legally have at their disposal to produce more and preserve existing affordable housing, as well as protect existing residents from getting displaced from their homes and communities.

Protect Tenants
7/10
Preserve Affordable Housing
5/9
Produce Affordable Housing
10/15
Condominium Conversion
Homeowner Repair or Rehabilitation
Acquisition Rehabilitation or Conversion
Tenant-Based Assistance
Rent Stabilization
One-to-One Replacement
Just Cause Eviction
By-Right Strategies
Reduced Fees or Permit Waivers
Implementation of SB743
In-Lieu Fees (Inclusionary Zoning)
Commercial Development Impact Fee
Housing Development Impact Fee
General Fund Allocation Incl. Former RDA "Boomerang" Funds
Flexible Parking Requirements
Inclusionary Housing Ordinance
Surplus Public Lands Act
Locally-Funded Homebuyer Assistance Programs
Preservation of Mobile Homes (Rent Stabilization Ordinance)
Home Sharing Programs
SRO Preservation Ordinance
Streamlined Permitting Process
Form Based Code
Housing Overlay Zones
Graduated Density Bonus
Mobile Home Conversion Ordinance

The list above is not an exhaustive list of all possible policies, but is a list of the most commonly agreed-upon policies that have a proven track record of creating impact that multiple cities and counties throughout the Bay Area have enacted. The list is provided by the regional agency that monitors the enactment of housing policies, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).
Learn more about all the policies listed

What's the impact?

Local housing policies, as part of a city’s implementation of their Housing Element, has significant impact on the development and preservation of affordable housing and protections for a community’s renters. Each additional housing policy enacted has an exponential impact on the residents who are most in need of affordable housing opportunities. The more housing policies a city or county passes, the more likely they are addressing local housing needs. Conversely, the less housing policies a city or county passes, the more influence it needs from affordable housing advocacy to improve.

Let us know if we got something wrong.

Get Involved

Right now, we have a once-in-a-decade chance to address current housing crisis, invest in our communities, and create better housing options for all. Getting involved now is the only way to ensure that your city includes the priorities in their local housing plan that will build the future your community deserves.

If you enjoy these Housing Readiness Report resources or want to let us know what you think,

Housing Element Timeline

The planning process for addressing housing needs in your community starts with the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) determining how many homes should be planned locally to meet housing needs (Regional Housing Needs Allocation) and ends with your local elected officials passing a Final Housing Element.

There are various points throughout the planning process where you can make your voice heard and influence the plan. Please see the Housing Element Timeline and how you can get involved below.

1
ABAG releases draft RHNA Allocations
Spring 2021
2
City staff develop the draft Housing Elements
Spring 2021 – Summer 2022
3
Public comment
Fall 2022
4
Housing Elements due
Jan 31, 2023
Prepare and Attend

Get ready to attend your local City Council or Board of Supervisor hearings – either virtually or in-person – by utilizing the advocacy and public messaging tools available here.

Take Futher Action

Whether you have 5 minutes, an hour or more, there are a number of ways for you to address your community’s housing needs.