Tents to Townhouses

Due to Berkeley's housing shortage and high rents, it's not just those without income that live on the street, it's also students and low and middle income workers.  Rather than push people around from one part of town to the next, the city should follow global best practices and regularize encampments. 

1. Tents
To address public health concerns, the first step is to provide basic sanitary services such as restrooms, security, and waste collection.

2. Trailers
Next step is to create a permit process for house cars on private and public property.  As little as 200 square feet is needed - that's just 5% of a typical Berkeley lot.

3. Tiny Houses
With longer term ground leases, people will have the option to upgrade their living spaces and build relationships with their neighborhood.

4. Townhouses
As communities stabilize and build permanent structures, very long term ground leases can be used to set up community land trusts to provide permanent affordability.

Tents to Townhouses is how Bay Area cities were first built in the 1800s, and remains how most cities around the world grow today. 

This type of informal, grassroots development is both a way to house people and to create human scaled, pedestrian neighborhoods.  By adding modern infrastructure and safety codes to this traditional method of building, we can have the best of both worlds.

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