Chapter 7: Housing and Community Health and Services, pp. HC-1 through HC-13.
Goal HC-3 Offer diverse housing opportunities for persons of different ages and incomes, households of varying size, and persons of varying abilities. Give downtown a significant role in meeting Berkeley’s continuing need for additional housing.
Policy HC-3.2: Affordable Housing and Supportive Services. Encourage the creation of new affordable housing projects for low and very low income housing, and the creation of associated supportive services.
Policy HC-3.5: Senior and Disabled Housing. Encourage the creation of affordable housing for seniors and persons with disabilities, especially housing with supportive services, except for skilled nursing facilities that take little advantage of and contribute little to downtown’s pedestrian and transit-oriented environment.
Policy HC-4.1: Prevent Displacement. Prevent displacement of existing affordable housing in the Downtown Area, except where replaced by an equivalent number of permanent similarly affordable dwelling units.
Enforce and consider way to strengthen existing policies for the retention of existing rental housing for low-income residents.
Maintain and enhance City “acquisition and rehabilitation” efforts for affordable housing, while avoiding arbitrary or capricious displacement of tenants. Mitigate the negative effects of temporary or permanent relocation on tenants, and develop a plan for such mitigations in advance of implementation.
Consider incentives for the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing buildings by private owners, to maintain more affordable housing for low-income residents in the Downtown.
Consider the use of the Housing Trust Fund and/or housing mitigation fees from office and other commercial projects for the renovation and retention of affordable housing.
Consider flexibility in development standards to make it easier to renovate and retain affordable rental units.
HC-4.2: Affordable Housing and Supportive Services: Promote the creation of permanent affordable housing with supportive services in Downtown, especially for homeless individuals and families. Encourage provision of appropriate supportive services for tenants at all functional levels.
Identify opportunities to expand permanent housing with supportive services in Downtown.
Develop programs and partnerships among service providers and non-profit housing developers for rehabilitating and converting existing SRO* properties, and by using a permanent supportive housing model, such as Berkeley’s “Housing First” program.
Identify sites and long-term funding to support the development and on-going provision of services for new permanent supportive housing to meet the needs of very low-income single individuals and engage owners of SRO properties to convert to permanent supportive housing.
Encourage the creation of “micro-units,” very small apartments that many not include typical apartment features, such as a standard kitchen. Review development standards and inclusionary housing provisions to identify obstacles to the creation of micro-units, and consider whether such obstacles should be removed.
Explore options for expanding the range of affordable housing opportunities in the Downtown by encouraging innovative housing types, including limited equity cooperatives, co-housing, housing land trusts, and other options.
Consider incentives for projects that provide a greater number of affordable units or that provide units at deeper affordability (50% or less of the Area Median Income).
Goal HC-5: Deliver in downtown effective and compassionate services for seniors, parents and youth, and persons with special needs, including individuals who are homeless, have physical and/or mental disabilities, and/or suffer from substance abuse.
Goal HC-5.4: Social Services. Maintain and enhance prompt access to social services by Downtown residents and transient populations.
Evaluate existing and future social service needs and opportunities, both citywide and Downtown. Consider how services might be improved and how they might be accommodated in Downtown.
Goal HC-6: Provide a safe, clean and attractive downtown, in partnership with the community.
Establish community-appropriate standards of behavior and maintain a shared commitment among public and private stakeholders to enforce those standards, consistent with the city-wide Public Commons for Everyone initiative.
Distribute public information summarizing existing ordinances pertaining to street behavior and provide clear instruction on how to report aggressive behavior, and unsanitary and unsafe conditions.
Engage merchants, other stakeholders, the Police Department, mental health and social service providers, and homeless advocates, in defining critical issues and actions. As part of this on-going process, monitor locations and conditions where aggressive, abusive and unsanitary behavior occurs frequently.
Provide adequate 24-h toilets in Downtown with clear signage, and provide for their ongoing maintenance, security, and frequent cleaning.
Establish easy mechanisms for direct communication between Downtown community stakeholders and police or other service personnel to encourage rapid responses to unsafe conditions or inappropriate behavior.
Work in partnership with Berkeley High School and its students, parents, teachers, and staff, along with merchants, to define what constitutes appropriate heavier—for students and adults alike—and to encourage appropriate behavior in Downtown.
Goal HC-7: Maintain and expand integrated health services available in downtown to address health inequities.
Policy HC-7.1 Health Services. Encourage the retention and expansion of effective health care and health-related services in Downtown, especially to address the needs of those who would be most negatively affected by lack of (sic) accessible, centrally located health services.