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Mayor's Office
Mayor's Office

Economic Development Topic Listing

Housing Affordability - Today, the entire Bay Area is in the midst of an affordability crisis that threatens the diversity and character of our communities. Berkeley has not been spared. At a time when disparities in housing, health, and income are expanding at an alarming rate, Mayor Arreguin is working to broaden opportunity, and to make this city more affordable and accessible for all.   [more...]

Homelessness -

According to a homeless count done in January 2017, an estimated 1,000 people, or 1 percent of the city’s entire population, are homeless. Since Mayor Arreguin's election in November 2016, the city has taken bold steps to address this crisis. 

Within weeks of taking office, the Mayor worked with several other council members to activate the regional Emergency Operations Center to address the winter shelter crisis. The city was able to immediately double the number of shelter beds and warming centers available, providing life-saving shelter to hundreds of homeless individuals. 

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In June 2018, the city opened the STAIR Center, a low-barrier, service-rich shelter where people can access mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, receive job assistance and more to help them successfully transition to living on their own. Learn more at jessearreguin.com/pathways

The Homeless Outreach and Treatment Team

In June 2017, the city launched the Homeless Outreach and Treatment Team to target the two-pronged problem of mental health and homelessness.

This program, staffed by trained outreach workers, will contact homeless people with serious mental health issues and help them access crucial services with the hope of transitioning to permanent housing.

Clients will be selected based on a number of factors such as living with mental illness, suffering from addiction, frequent use of emergency rooms and problematic street behavior. The team will work together with The Hub, the city’s coordinated point of entry for housing and homeless services.

The Berkeley Way Project

In June 2017, Council unanimously approved prioritizing the Berkeley Way project led by BRIDGE Housing and Berkeley Food and Housing Project in Downtown Berkeley.

When completed, the project will consist of 142 permanent affordable housing units, along with emergency shelter and transitional housing for homeless veterans. This is the largest investment into housing the homeless and the working poor the city has ever made.

To make this project a reality, the Mayor and other council members are working to leverage the city’s investment to obtain $17 million in state funds through the California Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities. [more...]

Economic Development - Mayor Arreguin is deeply committed to promoting a culture of innovation and start-ups, as well as providing all residents equitable opportunities for success.
Sustainable Business. Berkeley has 10 co-working spaces, which together with the UC campus, serve as an incubator for many local start-up businesses.

Our city's location in the heart of the Bay Area, the best public university and a highly educated workforce make Berkeley an ideal place for new companies. Berkeley is already home to nearly a dozen co-working spaces and more than 150 start ups. All entrepreneurs are encouraged to work with our Office of Economic Development, which offers expertise in commercial real estate, financing, economic data, green business, and marketing. Whatever your business is, we want your company to thrive.

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Sanctuary City -   [more...]

Budget Accountability - The Mayor is committed to fiscal responsibility, and his office has worked with the City Council, City Manager and City Auditor to improve the City’s fiscal health while simultaneously avoiding major cuts to social services.

That's why, starting in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the City of Berkeley is increasing its reserve fund to over 13 percent of the overall budget.

Doing this will increase stability in the event of fiscal crises and cushion the blow during economic downturns, without necessitating immediate drastic measures.


In a national climate of corporate influence over politics, Citizens United and alternative facts, accountability can always be improved.

To that end Mayor Arreguin plans to create a Council Budget Subcommittee and a Mayor’s Citizens Budget Committee in order to accomplish the twin goals of promoting public transparency, and fiscal responsibility.

These two groups will bring together residents with budget experience to improve the presentation of the budget, investigate new sources of revenue, evaluate cost effectiveness, and address unfunded liabilities. With the formation of these two groups, the breakdown of spending on City programs will be clearer on future budget reports and more accessible to the public.

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