Union Point on the Rise
Tiny Home Community
In the Spring of 2021, a group of people camping at Union Point Park refused to leave. The city really needed them to leave to avoid $6,000 dollars a day fines from the BCDC. The group of people created a list of demands and had support from housing activists. Lawyers were brought in and an agreement was reached to move into hotel rooms while an alternative piece of land was selected and set up to be a place where the group of 16-20 people could live and manage their own space. It would be the first Co-Governed transitional housing program in Oakland. The group of people decided to call themselves "Union Point on the Rise" (UPOR) and began making decisions at weekly meetings to develop the initial set of policies and frameworks that would serve as their operating and governance system at the new site. A site was located at the controversial E12th parcel. Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas pushed to see it be used for housing relief rather than continue to sit vacant. Space on the property was offered to the UPOR as a place to set up their Co-Governed Tiny Home Community next to a neighboring 50-unit program operated by Housing Consortium of the East Bay. The Group of people partnered with a Tiny House Consulting Firm that would serve as its backbone agency, offering Facilitation and Administration support called Tiny Logic. This role will be passed on to a spinoff organization called Neighborship, which is currently applying for 501c3 tax-exempt status. As it became clear that most of the people of Union Point on the Rise are in search of a pathway back to permanent housing, the uncertainty of permanence at the E12th Parcel came into focus. Stay tuned to find out how easy or hard it is to land permanent housing without inaccessible incomes or if the site will have to give way to a Market-rate housing development.