Berkeley Housing Opportunities for Municipal Employees
Everyone benefits when our municipal employees, including educators, are woven into the fabric of our community.
STARTED IN RESPONSE TO
Dramatic housing affordability pressures, changing community diversity, and an underlying belief in the value and importance of civil service work performed by people who live in the communities they serve.
BeHOME is a grassroots organization with skill and capability to facilitate the collaboration to get educator WFH built in Berkeley.
We are a robust citizen collective committed to supporting the research and enabling connections necessary to empower busy BUSD and City staff (or Commissions) to secure the information and connections they need to move forward in creating educator workforce housing in Berkeley.
David Mayer – Local entrepreneur, who has been spearheading BeHOME since our start
Mischa Lorraine-Arriba – Berkeley Realtor
Heidi Goldstein – Chair of BUSD Personnel Commission and consultant
Joshua Daniels – Former BUSD School Board member
Kathleen Evans – Retired educator who still actively volunteers in several Oakland programs
Bruce Bagnell – Poet and writer, retired from management of car dealerships
Mark Galbraith – Brand strategy and marketing consultant
Stephanie Allan – BUSD CTE Advisor & facilities activist
Chris Hudson – Owner of Berkeley-based Development and Property Management company
Nate Dahl - Cities Industries Chair at SEIU 1021
Greg Magofña - Former teacher and Housing Advisory Commisioner
Starting in early 2017 a group of Berkeley residents started meeting, wanting to provide support for educators. From attending BUSD board meetings, Berkeley City Council, and individual informal conversations with stakeholders, including unions of the BUSD workforce, it became clear that there was a real need for housing support for our educators if we wished to sustain quality public schools in Berkeley.
It also became clear that the resources of BUSD were fully engaged and even over committed to other necessary activity and that BUSD was and is in a financial crunch which has resulted in insufficient wage increases to keep up with rising costs of living for the workforce.
After the survey of need for workforce housing support and a meeting of the BUSD school board the possibility of direct action by the board was tabled as impossible for the time being. A strong desire to not bring BUSD into the landlord business, with problems reaching into board meetings and diluting the primary educational mission was voiced by many of the board who were nevertheless understanding of the need.
BeHOME recognized that a citizen led group would have to create the movement forward and assembled several informal meetings of stakeholders, experts in the field, and BeHome members.
Slowly it appeared that an informal consensus was being reached. Measure O was placed on the 2018 Berkeley ballot and approved by the voters. Measure O, in the opinion of this writer, is mostly intended for other purposes such as the Premier Cru property acquisition but BeHOME is exploring if some seed money can be available for the early work of a 3rd party, independently run (foundation or trust) workforce housing project. Such projects often require 1/2 million or so to get off the ground with consultants, legal, site selection, architectural, engineering, soil and subsoil testing, permitting and the other work which precedes any building.