Date posted: September 20, 2022 at 12:03
Last update: September 20, 2022 at 12:06

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2022

Oakland, California – “In 2019, I requested and financed this audit to increase transparency and improve results in the city’s work to address homelessness. Given the public health crisis of growing homelessness, I have sought to ensure that City investments achieve housing outcomes for our unsheltered neighbors. Three years later, homelessness has increased nearly 25% – from 4,071 to 5,055 – and the responses from this audit show that Oakland’s investments and programs are not achieving strong enough results to make in the face of this crisis, and that the municipal administration is not doing the very basic management either. data analysis and contract compliance.

The audit shows that while Oakland’s services broadly reach racial groups disproportionately affected by homelessness, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure that:

  • individuals served not only access but stay in permanent housing and successfully enroll in public benefit programs;
  • we have timely, accurate and comprehensive data and monitoring systems to assess our strategies and the effectiveness of our contracted service providers. This is particularly important as over 85% of our homelessness funding goes to external providers – $69 million over the last 3 years.

It is unacceptable that the city administration does not adequately collect, track and analyze information on individuals’ success in leaving services and how long they remain in permanent accommodation; this needs to be corrected. The administration must also immediately improve contract tracking and compliance systems, requiring our contracted vendors to significantly improve data collection.

At our Board meeting on June 7, 2022, I made a motionapproved by the Board, to begin this accountability process with our contractors by:

  • Require that our contractual homeless service agreements include clear performance measures, reporting and evaluation deadlines.
  • Order the city administrator to return with a resolution establishing an assessment policy – ​​with assessments to be conducted at least quarterly – and procedures for homeless service providers to provide targeted reports on placements housing, service delivery, etc., to be informed by the findings of this audit.
  • Direct the city administrator, upon release of this audit, to provide a written review and assessment of the findings of the audit with a plan, schedule and budget for implementing the improvements to be scheduled for a hearing public no later than October 31, 2022 and annually thereafter.

With this baseline information, Oakland needs to create stronger programs and services with management systems for accountability and results so we can develop an impactful strategic plan to address the homelessness crisis. Our unsheltered neighbors deserve services that lead to dignity and permanent housing, and our taxpayers deserve accountability and the results of our investments.

# # #

About Nikki Fortunato Bas, Council Chair and District 2 Council Member

Nikki Fortunato Bas is Oakland City Council President and represents District 2, one of the most diverse districts in the city. Since taking office in 2019, she has championed community-centered policies and budgeting. She led the passage of the state’s strictest COVID-19 eviction moratorium and a risk for COVID-19 grocery workers to pay a $5 wage premium covering 2,000 workers in Oakland’s largest grocery stores. She created a fund for community land trusts to prevent displacement and create permanently affordable community housing, introduced a progressive corporation tax to be voted on in 2022, and led a task force to reinvent public safety. in Oakland. She led a budget team that passed a two-year budget that invests millions in violence prevention and alternative crisis response. She also sits on the first National League of Cities Public Safety Reimagining Task Force. For two decades before being elected in 2018, Bas pushed for labor, environmental, gender and racial justice. She organized immigrant garment workers to get their wages back in Chinatowns in Oakland and San Francisco, and she worked in coalitions to raise Oakland’s minimum wage with paid sick leave, create paid jobs on the Oakland Army Base Redevelopment Project and reduce pollution from diesel trucks at the Port of Oakland. Learn more about oaklandca.gov/officials/nikki-fortunato-bas.