Eighty-six units of affordable housing near Ashby BART station were approved to be implemented in February.
The units could help address current housing crises in Berkeley and the Bay Area, according to Mayor Jesse Arreguín’s website. The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, or TOPA, could give tenants more autonomy in their choice of housing, said Arreguín’s spokesperson Stefan Elgstrand in an email.
The housing units will be affordable for people making 20-60% of the Area Median Income, according to a Feb. 28 press release from the mayor’s office.
“TOPA will help build equity for people who usually wouldn’t have financial access to do so,” Elgstrand said in an email.
Half of the 86 units will have two to three bedrooms and could be used for family housing, according to the press release. Twelve units are reserved for formerly homeless or disabled residents.
Healthy Black Families Inc., an advocacy organization for the growth and development of Black individuals and families, will have office space on the ground floor of the housing units, according to the press release. The units have been approved for where the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union is currently located, and the union will be retained on the ground floor of the housing units.
“The severity of our housing crisis compels us to take bold and innovative action,” Elgstrand said in the email.
The project will be named after Maudelle Shirek, who served as a member of Berkeley City Council for 20 years, according to the press release.
The next steps for the TOPA measure, introduced Feb. 20, will be discussed by the Land Use, Housing and Economic Development Policy Committee, according to Elgstrand.
“If it passes through Committee, the earliest it would go to the full Council is March 24,” Elgstrand said in an email.