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Oakland Wants You to Stop Calling It the “Next Brooklyn”

Oakland Wants You to Stop Calling It the Next Brooklyn Next City


In 2012, the Urban Strategies Council research nonprofit found that large investors ultimately scooped up 45 percent of bank-owned properties, and only 10 of the top 30 companies were based in Oakland.

“It essentially stripped Oakland of its homeowners, it stripped local wealth,” says Anya Svanoe of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

The report was one of the first close looks at how the foreclosure crisis would play out over the long-term, recalls author Steve King. “We could see that something much bigger was going on here.”

Stashed in: Economics!, economics, That's racist!, Homeless, California

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Geez, large investors bought half of Oakland's foreclosed houses?!

Over the last decade, thousands of Oakland residents have lost their homes to investors planning to primp, paint and flip them into more luxurious rentals. Some of those homes purchased for $135,000 now rent for $3,000 a month. For renters pushed out of San Francisco, this is a bargain, while many families who used to live in these homes have sought cheaper housing in far-flung suburbs.

It'll never be the next Brooklyn as California has Prop 13, the single biggest protection against homeowners being forced out of their homes through gentrification and abusive homeowner tax policies.  Before Prop 13, owners would be financially forced out on the street by local governments raising property taxes based on rising property values.  People who had been in their homes for decades would reach the point they no longer could afford to live there simply because greedy local govs saw the rising property values as a way to cash in on new tax revenue. 

The primary beneficiary of Prop 13 is corporations who buy up houses and apartments, keep increasing rents, but never have to worry about increased taxes. Profits keep going up.

I'm all for Prop 13 protecting first homes but the way corporations use it is an effrontery.

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