East Palo Alto for the Opportunity to Purchase Act
East Palo Alto's Opportunity to Purchase Act (OPA) is a proposed ordinance that empowers tenants with options when the home they live in is going to be sold. Under an OPA ordinance, tenants, qualified non-profit affordable housing developers, and the City would receive notification when a qualifying property goes for sale, and would have the right of first offer to purchase the property at market price.
Our community needs you! Join a growing list of over 700+ supporters who understand that we need OPA in EPA now! The opposition, resourced by absentee real estate entities and absentee investors, uses false information and fear-mongering to derail housing justice in East Palo Alto. Community members can win the opportunity to purchase their homes – through unified struggle. #YEStoOPA #OpportunityforUS #OpportunityforALL #OPAforEPA
Housing costs have grown at an out-of-control pace. To resist displacement, people are overcrowding to afford housing, over spending beyond 30% of incomes to stay in place, and enduring housing conditions that are not habitable to avoid retaliation from landlords. When households do get displaced, there are not many nearby alternatives and as a result people are forced to move far from EPA. The purpose of Opportunity to Purchase is to add an anti-displacement tool to support EPA residents by specifically targeting absentee landlords who don’t live in EPA but profit off of our community. Below are facts that help explain why Opportunity to Purchase is so urgently needed:
HOME PRICE INCREASE
Wage growth for long term EPA residents has not kept pace, which means simply working to save for a house is not a good enough strategy, on its own, to attain homeownership.
EPA has lower owner-occupied homeownership rates (39.8%) than San Mateo County (60.2%) and the Bay Area overall (56.1%), according to the Housing Needs Report.
OF INCOME SPENT ON HOUSING
Two-thirds of renter households are overburdened, spending more than 30% of income on housing, which means the ability to save money towards buying a home is interrupted because rent is so high.