2007 City of Berkeley Annual Report 

 Upcoming in Berkeley

view_from_berkeley 

Clean Water, Clean Bay, Clean Neighborhoods 

The Bay Area is one of the most beautiful urban regions in the country, and Berkeley’s hills and waterfront give us special access to the San Francisco Bay.

Residents and the City are constantly working to ensure the ecological health of the Bay and our residents. That work includes addressing the problem of pollution and improving our storm water system capacity to prevent urban flooding.

When rain runoff enters the City-owned storm drain system and the private creeks that run through town, it picks up soap debris, paint residue, oil, heavy metals, fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides, and dumps them into the Bay. Residents and the City need to work together to keep toxins and debris out of urban runoff.

It is also time to make improvements to our aging storm drain system. The combination of heavy rains and high tides can subject some neighborhoods to localized flooding. Global warming’s effects on water level and tides makes this all the more urgent.

We had a dry winter and no major flooding this year, but we don’t know what future years will be like.

The City’s storm water capacity challenges and the need to reduce urban runoff pollution will require a lot of public input and possibly a vote.

To learn more about water pollution, visit the Clean City Program page or call 981-6400.

Affordable Housing in Berkeley

Berkeley is committed to providing a strong supply of affordable housing for Berkeley residents, especially those who are low-income, homeless, seniors, disabled, or have special needs. This is especially challenging in a region nationally known for its high cost of housing, but we’re committed to working on several fronts.

Rent control continues to provide affordable housing to more than 5,000 households in Berkeley. Council has also approved the creation of more than 400 units of permanent affordable housing in the last five years. This year, we completed construction of the Sacramento Senior Homes and the Margaret Breland Senior Homes, and started construction on University Avenue Senior Housing, Ashby Lofts and Oxford Plaza.

In addition to providing housing, The City provides services. Overall community agency funding was kept stable in the current budget. In addition, the City helped create Alameda County's Everyone Home Plan, helped establish a winter shelter, and co-sponsored several projects for homeless youth. We’re going to continue to find ways to connect our homeless services and our affordable housing development so people can get housed and stable.

One of the big changes in our affordable housing work is the establishment of an independent housing authority. The Housing Authority has been a function of Berkeley city government, but this structure wasn’t effective. In order to continue to provide local services to local people, Council established a new Housing Authority with a new board, management structure and staff. The new Berkeley Housing Authority will be able to focus more on serving residents, who will continue to benefit from being close to housing services.

To reach the Housing Authority, please call 981-5470. For other housing programs, call 981-5400.

DID YOU KNOW? 

The Solid Waste division collects about 50,000 tons of garbage and 40,000 tons of recyclables a year.

They also serve 20,000 residential customers, 3,000 commercial customers and more than 400 customers a day at the transfer station.