Six months into the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen an increase in homeless campsites around town, Berkeley is stepping up efforts to tackle problematic behavior and firming up plans for its first sanctioned camp.
The city will work to create a new transportation department with a “racial justice lens” and a Specialized Care Unit staffed by a “network of crisis responders” to respond to non-criminal calls, among other changes.
The Berkeley City Council shifted more than $9 million out of the police department budget Tuesday night to help pay for a range of reforms called for by community members and city officials alike in recent weeks.
Cal is buying 1921 Walnut St. and may tear it down to make way for a student housing complex that can hold 850 to 1,000 students.
Critics say the university should postpone plans until the COVID-19 crisis is over. UC Berkeley officials say the law requires the school to proceed now.
The Berkeley Relief Fund will pool $3 million in city funds and funds raised from private and corporate donations to provide emergency grants to local businesses, nonprofits and tenants.
The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act has not even reached the City Council, but it’s already generating plenty of controversy, and support.
Berkeley could lease two parcels on University Avenue and Frontage Road from the state for $1 for the project.
A Berkeley City Council majority voted yes Tuesday night to the idea of a sanctioned homeless camp pilot program, location to be determined, and have asked city staff to figure out the details and report back.
The city has decided not to grant developer Hill Street Realty more time to secure financing for the 18-story Berkeley Plaza project on Harold Way.
Officials have put forward a proposal for a homeless camp, for up to 120 tents, that could be located below the University Avenue overpass. Council is set to vote Tuesday and the city has asked for public input.
Efforts are afoot at City Hall to see if the 18-story, $150 million mixed-use housing complex planned on Harold Way may still, in fact, be viable — even though the developer told the city that he had scrapped the plans.