Today, the City of Oakland, in partnership with MidPen Housing and the Oakland Housing Authority, celebrated the grand opening of Foon Lok West, the third new affordable housing within the City’s Brooklyn Basin community. Foon Lok, which means “Joyous Community” in Cantonese, provides 130 deeply affordable rental apartments for seniors and families, including 48 one-bedroom, 35 two-bedroom (including a manager’s unit), and 47 three-bedroom apartment homes for families earning up to 60% of Area Median Income (AMI.)
California Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez, California State Assemblymember Mia Bonta, Alameda County Supervisor Dave Brown, MidPen Housing President & CEO Matt Franklin, and others celebrated the grand opening today.
Brooklyn Basin is a mixed use, mixed-income neighborhood along Oakland’s waterfront, featuring over 3,000 new homes, retail, parks, and open spaces along 64 acres. This includes the already constructed Vista Estero – 110 units (109 income restricted), Paseo Estero – 101 units (100 income restricted), and now, Foon Lok West – 130 units (129 income restricted) and soon to come, Foon Lok East – 124 (123 income restricted units) for a total of 465 homes, including manager units.
“Opening hundreds of new affordable housing units for our most vulnerable families and seniors along our beautiful waterfront is a great accomplishment today, but we must continue to build more affordable housing for Oakland’s future,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Our community led a long and difficult charge to ensure that a new development at Brooklyn Basin included spaces and places for longtime residents and set a new standard for community engagement. Today we celebrate a unique collaboration among our local developers, residents, and the City of Oakland, to ensure that Oakland remains a place where everyone belongs.”
The result of an innovative and highly collaborative public/private partnership, what was once an underutilized and mostly industrial site is being transformed into a highly livable, walkable, and beautifully designed community that will benefit generations to come.
“There is much to celebrate today,” said Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas. “My history with this project goes back 15 years, when two years previously, community organizations began listening sessions for local residents about what they envisioned for this project – and that is the beautiful, new, affordable housing for residents of Oakland. I want to also acknowledge that these units were built by Oaklanders with good union jobs. It takes so much to bring complex mixed-use developments like this to fruition – this is the type of City, private, and community partnership that will continue to move the City of Oakland forward with affordable housing.”
Over 5,500 applications were received from interested individuals and families to move into the units. All Foon Lok West units are currently occupied; nearly all of them by Oakland residents. Foon Lok East is under construction; leasing opportunities will be made available in late 2023.
“Foon Lok West will stand as a lasting reminder of the City of Oakland’s commitment to provide safe, high-quality, affordable housing for its residents,” said Matthew O. Franklin, President, and CEO of MidPen Housing. “None of this would be possible without the determined leadership of Mayor Libby Schaaf and her unwavering commitment to bringing affordable homes to a thriving Brooklyn Basin community. We are grateful for the Oakland Housing Authority’s collaborative partnership and significant investment, as well as our ongoing community relationships, which were essential to the project’s success.”
MidPen is committed to sustainable development, including the use of advanced green building methods – recycled content materials; energy and water efficient appliances; photovoltaic and solar thermal systems; and drought-tolerant landscaping. All completed buildings have received LEED Gold certification.
Community amenities at Foon Lok West include a multi-purpose community room, computer lab, learning center, secured bicycle parking, 3rd floor landscaped courtyard and a children’s playground. Residents will be able to enjoy on-site programs and services coordinated by MidPen Services, including:
Adult Services Programming
- Financial capabilities courses
- Workforce development
- Health and wellness programs
- ESL courses
Permanent Supportive Housing Services
- Case management housing services
- Mental health care and services for co-occurring disabilities
- Educational/employment services and skills development
- Recreational and social activities
- Care coordination services
Youth Services Programming
- Academic-based after school and summer programs
- Leadership skills
- Engagement in career paths and college exploration
- Connection to community resources
“Through the determination, passion, and engagement of this City’s leadership and residents, Brooklyn Basin has transformed into a diverse, wonderful neighborhood” said Christina Mun, Interim Director of Oakland’s Housing and Community Development (HCD) Department. “We are grateful for experienced development partners like MidPen that bring the services, collaboration, and perseverance needed to realize the community’s vision.”
Oakland’s HCD Department recently released their 2021 Impact Report (https://www.oaklandca.gov/topi…) which highlights the City’s efforts to address the housing crisis, including administering more than $30 million in emergency rental assistance to nearly 3,000 households; providing more than $2 million to support earthquake safety retrofits for 284 units; and investing over $70 million for the creation and rehabilitation of 727 housing units.
The City of Oakland is required by the State of California to create over 10,000 units of affordable housing by 2030, based on the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). To address this challenge, the City adopted the “3 P’s” approach to protect Oaklanders from displacement, preserve the existing affordable housing stock, and produce new, deeply affordable housing units like those at Foon Lok West.