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Fruit Pad: A Fresh Look at Affordable Housing in Fruitvale, California

Published onMay 28, 2020
Fruit Pad: A Fresh Look at Affordable Housing in Fruitvale, California

Oakland has a housing crisis. Rents are rising, wages aren’t, and there’s not enough affordable housing to meet demand. Oakland also has almost every pro-affordable housing policy in the books, but it still hasn’t been able to address its housing crisis. 

Right now, a lot of Oakland’s affordable housing policies are hidden away in municipal codes or tied up in technical jargon. They’re hard to find and harder to understand. We think Oakland needs to take a fresh approach toward marketing its affordable housing policies – to demystify the affordable housing process and to make it as transparent and approachable as possible.

That’s where Fruit Pad (a quirky play on the area’s name combined with a reference to the “home” connotation of “pad”) comes in. It’s a fresh and revamped educational and marketing program for Oakland’s affordable housing policies, specifically tailored to the Fruitvale neighborhood. Fruit Pad uses a variety of strategies to transform affordable housing from a scholarly discussion into a casual conversation and to show residents and developers first-hand how affordable housing policies can work in their neighborhood – all in an effort to encourage people to make better use of the City’s existing affordable housing policies and incentives.

(This project was selected as a finalist for the 2019 American Planning Association Student Design Competition. A winner will be chosen in April.)

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