CM Taplin Proposes “Housing as Human Right” Resolution with Social Housing Pilot Program

February 9, 2021

BERKELEY, CA—City Councilmember Terry Taplin has introduced a resolution to recognize housing as a human right in the City of Berkeley. Cosponsored by Councilmembers Hahn, Harrison, and Mayor Arreguín, the resolution calls for holding city government accountable to this ideal with objective measures for tracking security of tenure and freedom of mobility in an intersectional reparative justice framework, and a financial feasibility study for a mixed-income social housing pilot program. This proposal aims to collaborate with regional and state partners, particularly through the Social Housing Act of 2021 (AB-387) introduced by Asms. Alex Lee (D-San Jose) and Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland).

“I believe housing is a human right, and as a public official, I believe the public sector has to really mean it,” said Councilmember Terry Taplin (District 2). “We can’t say we value housing justice and have an eviction crisis, or be a city that is too expensive for students and immigrants from all walks of life to afford. We must strive for real material outcomes that affirmatively further fair housing for all. That’s why I am also proud to cosponsor land-use reform efforts with Vice Mayor Lori Droste, and plan to introduce more in the coming weeks.” 

“We need the public sector to step up and devote more resources to a positive vision of housing justice, and actively redress the injustices of our city’s racist legacies of segregation and exclusion,” said Mayor Jesse Arreguín. “As President of the Association of Bay Area Governments, I’m proud to be putting our community’s best foot forward as we explore local and regional solutions.”

“We need to follow the example of cities like Singapore and Vienna and get the public sector to address the housing shortage by socializing land values to house the poor and homeless in self-sufficient, cross-subsidizing, all-income housing,” said Darrell Owens, Coexecutive of East Bay For Everyone.

“New funding and programs for mixed-income social housing are currently being explored by the regional, state, and federal government,” said local architect Alfred Twu. “Starting a feasibility study now would help us get shovel-ready and first in line.”