HAYWARD: Wahab wants residents to have first dibs on city-backed housing, home ownership

With an eye toward limiting the displacement of Hayward residents, Councilmember Aisha Wahab wants Hayward residents to have the first crack at housing and home ownership opportunities that are backed by the city. Wahab plans to offer a referral on the matter at the next Hayward City Council meeting on April 30.

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Aisha Wahab

“This is not just a Hayward issue but an issue that is affecting the larger Bay Area, however, the City of Hayward is able to give Hayward residents priority preference in any program or services that the City of Hayward is involved, partnered, and/or leading,” Wahab wrote in the referral released Friday.

Hayward residents living in the city at least three years would be given preference for housing and home ownership, according to the proposal. Wahab is seeking support from the council to direct its staff to study the issue.

“This referral is to reduce displacement of long time Hayward resident and empower home ownership and to give them a fair shake on all the development taking place. This needs to be done,” said Wahab in an interview.

One potential major Hayward housing project that could be affected by the proposal is the Route 238 corridor lands, Wahab acknowledged, a set of nine parcels owned by CalTrans along Mission Boulevard and Foothill Boulevard.

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A map of the nine CalTrans parcels on the Route 238 corridor that could be developed for housing in the future.

A generation ago, the properties were purchased by CalTrans with the intent to build a freeway extension. A lawsuit in the early 1970s scuttled the plan.

Hayward was granted control of the parcels from CalTrans in 2009 and within the next four years plans to finalize ownership on most, if not all, of the properties in order to redevelop each parcel.

In April 2018, a somewhat separate controversy involving one of the Route 238 parcels named Bunker Hill (#5 on the map above) erupted when existing renters living in single-family homes at the base of the Hayward Hills near Cal State East Bay asked the city for more time before eviction notices, years in the making, were served.`

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