Through community organizing and tenant engagement, KOCO maintains the affordability of more than 1500 units of housing, and works to ensure quality living conditions for its residents. Low-income and working families in the Kenwood and Oakland communities struggle to maintain the delicate balance between their housing costs and all of their other expenses. Affordable housing, as such, is one of the most important quality of life issues in our community. As the housing market starts to show meager signs of recovery, the threat of losing the limited amount of remaining affordable housing looms overhead. Unfortunately, no one anticipated the loss of more than 2000 units of housing over the past 15 years; and KOCO is working with community leaders to make sure our community retains what remains of our affordable housing. KOCO’s organizing work is exhibited through the following strategies:
- Organize tenant councils in buildings that were financed with low-income housing tax credits and Section 8 funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to preserve affordable housing units there;
- Develop the leadership and organizational skills of the tenant council leaders and residents through community organizing efforts;
- Create affordable housing policies and preserve affordable housing units through participating in city-wide affordable housing coalitions; and
- Maintain ongoing communication with elected officials, policy makers, and building management/owners regarding affordability and issues affecting tenants’ quality of life.