Berkeleyside special: Mapping Berkeley’s ‘housing pipeline’ with new city data

A new “pipeline report” by city planning staff offers a broad look at the dozens of housing projects in the works in Berkeley.

Several city officials asked for the report, back in June, to get a better understanding of what housing projects have been built in recent years, which ones have been approved for future construction, and which applications have been submitted but are pending review.

  • Staff found that 910 units have been built since 2014 across 11 projects that are now occupied.
  • There are 525 units under construction, or with secured building permits, in nine projects.
  • The city has approved 1,134 units since 1999 that are without building permits. Ten projects (about 600 units) have not sought those permits. Eight others have applied for them.
  • About 1,400 units, in 20 projects, have been submitted and are pending review.

In the map above, created by Berkeleyside, yellow and orange markers show submitted applications, blue markers show approved projects, and markers in green shades show projects with a building permit issued, that are under construction or are already built. One marker, in red, shows a project that was approved by the zoning board in July, but has been appealed to City Council. Click each marker for basic project details and links to additional information, where available.

(In at least two cases, project status changed since the city compiled its list in September, and Berkeleyside provided more recent information and updated the tallies above as per sources on the city website.)


Staff also looked at whether Berkeley is meeting its regional housing goals. Within the context of the state’s housing crisis, the Association of Bay Area Governments sets housing targets for all jurisdictions in the region, to be assessed between January 2014 and October 2022. Berkeley has a goal of nearly 3,000 units overall.

Staff analyzed the 1,429 building permits that have come in since 2014, and found that the bulk of them (1,272) are for units aimed at “above moderate” income levels. Another 91 have been for very-low-income units, and the other 66 were for low-income units.

The city hasn’t issued any permits for units that would meet its “moderate” income (584 units at 80% to 120% of the area median income) or extremely low income (266 units at 30% area median income) goals. It has nearly met its entire requirement, of 1,401 units, for “above moderate” building permits.

Berkeley’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation from the Association of Bay Area Governments. Source: City of Berkeley

The information report, from Interim Planning Director Timothy Burroughs, first appeared on the Oct. 31 council agenda. That night, it was placed on the Nov. 28 meeting agenda for possible discussion.

The city says it will continue to update the report twice yearly going forward, and plans to look in the future at the number of bedrooms per project, and expected completion dates, in line with the council request from officials Kate Harrison, Sophie Hahn, Ben Bartlett and Cheryl Davila.

Staff also noted that “data is only certain after occupancy is granted” because projects, unit counts, below-market-rate tallies and Housing Trust Fund payments are not set until that time. Specifics may change significantly as projects move through the approval process. The city’s zoning applications log provides links to the latest information in many cases.

One project that did not appear on the Oct. 31 list of active developments was 1951-1975 Shattuck Ave. That had been proposed as 92 units in a 12-story tower on Shattuck, and had been scheduled before the Design Review Committee seven times dating back to April 2014. The project, which aimed to be one of seven tall buildings approved by voters under the Downtown Area Plan, had a preview in 2014 before the zoning board, but never returned again to seek use permits.

See the Berkeleyside housing pipeline map in a larger window, alongside a list of all the projects the city compiled. See the staff report from the city of Berkeley. Want to learn more about housing in Berkeley? Read the city’s most recent Housing Element report.