Economy

Proposed housing developments promise to transform downtown Richmond

A series of recently proposed housing developments along Macdonald Avenue in downtown Richmond could spur a business renaissance in the struggling district if city and local business leaders’ predictions ring true. In a city desperate for affordable housing, the developments reserve only about one quarter of the total number of units for residents making below the median income. The rest of the apartments would be rented at market rates. Still, Richmond leaders are supporting the proposals on land that has…

Lawsuit challenging Point Molate settlement to proceed

In U.S. District Court on Tuesday, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers called the years of legal battles over the scenic stretch of shoreline called Point Molate, “a tragedy for a city like the city of Richmond.” But still, Rogers said, she was inclined to allow the court case challenging a recent settlement between the city and casino developers to proceed because, “the law requires that i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, and it’s not clear to me that that was done.”

The battle over rent control in the East Bay

As rents and home prices continue to skyrocket across California, a major ballot fight is brewing between tenants and the real estate industry over the state rent control law Costa Hawkins. The law prohibits cities from implementing rent control on single family homes as well as homes or apartments built after 1995 (or the year the city passed it’s rent control law, which, in Oakland, is 1983), resulting in 100% or more rent increases for tenants in these dwellings. The…

Formerly incarcerated students return to school

Last year in June, East Bay-resident Dieudonné Brou graduated from UCLA in African American studies. During his commencement speech, he revealed himself as formerly incarcerated. Even though higher education offers chance to break the cycle of recidivsm, barriers like financial difficulties and social stigma are high for former incarcerated people.

Vacant, Neglected, Destructive: How Richmond’s abandoned homes became fire hazards

After sitting vacant and neglected for almost a decade, 662 Fourth St., a home in the Iron Triangle, burst into flames. The blaze, which neighbors say was started by trespassers, lead to the destruction of three homes. According to public records and interviews with city officials, Richmond doesn’t have the budget or staffing to fully mitigate the risks posed by vacant homes.

‘What would it be like if you owned the business down the street?’: Richmond residents fight for more ownership over their careers

Najari Smith, Josue Hernandez, and Roshni “Tay” McGee have opened a worker-owned cooperative in Richmond called Rich City Rides. The bike repair shop opened in 2015, but the organization responsible for community rides and outdoor activities, has been around for five years. The goal is to have a space where people can come in and buy a bike, get a bike fixed, or learn more about bike repairs. The three put on free Friday bike repair workshops, weekly community rides,…