Column: Newsom and mayors meet to discuss homelessness. Have we hit rock bottom?
The city of Oakland has a long road ahead to meet the new standards for encampment clearance and to reach housing for people living in homeless camps. The city council is in the midst of considering what to do, and, more importantly, where to move encampments in this latest wave of encampments, or tent cities, that have been popping up in more and more cities.
The Oakland city council recently voted to implement the Tent City Clearance Rule (TCR) through Jan. 1, 2018, to set strict new rules for clearing tents in Oakland. The TCR sets a clear timeline for the process and requires campers to show that they are no longer living on the site and has a plan to move the campers on to permanent housing within 90 days of the city’s last offer of shelter.
This new rule will not have a significant impact on encampments that are still in the planning stages. However, a group of Oakland residents is pushing for a moratorium on the Oakland ordinance and they have already collected signatures to put a measure on the November ballot.
The Bay Area Council reported that the Oakland ordinance will remove more than half of the tent cities in Alameda, Richmond and San Francisco. The ordinance will require campers to sign a declaration of no more than 90 days, to come up with plans to relocate them to permanent housing within 90 days to avoid criminal charges and penalties.
The Bay Area Council points out, in a letter to Mayor Libby Schaaf, that Oakland has been meeting with the City of San Francisco “to explore the possibility of partnering on a temporary shelter” for those who have had their tents removed.
While Oakland is on the front lines of the city’s ongoing efforts to address the issue of homelessness, it is also home to what some have called “one of the worst housing climates in the nation.” While homelessness is a problem in Oakland, it is the city that has received the most