A renewed People's Park for all.
This website contains a lot of detailed information about this project. Here's a concise summary of the project in about 500 words.
We invite you to learn more about this transformational project.
People’s Park is a 2.8-acre site in Berkeley, CA, that is owned by the University of California.
This project preserves most of the site as green space and a community park. Two buildings will be constructed around the park: 1) below-market student apartments for more than 1,000 currently enrolled undergraduates, and 2) apartments for more than 100 unhoused and recently unhoused persons with on-site services, such as medical care and addiction counseling.
The project was announced in 2017. After years of public engagement and environmental review, construction is ready to begin in 2022. The unhoused in People’s Park will be offered shelter and services, prior to construction beginning. The university, City of Berkeley, and County of Alameda are aligned in this effort to shelter the unhoused at People’s Park and provide them services.
The revitalized open park space will be approximately 1.7-acres, which is about 1 ⅓ football fields in size. It will be open to the entire community. Many trees from the current park will be preserved. There will be a large grassy glade and gardens with native California plants and trees. Landscape elements will be incorporated in the design to commemorate the site’s storied history, from land originally inhabited by native peoples thousands of years ago, to turn-of-the-century residential housing development, and through the 1960s and the subsequent creation of a park, to today.
The student housing will be for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, who are most underserved by existing campus housing. Fall semester 2021, more than 5,500 students that were waitlisted for campus housing couldn’t be accommodated. More than 1,000 students will be housed predominantly in double-occupancy 4-bedroom apartments with below-market rents. Apartments will be comparable in quality and livability to existing campus housing. The campus will develop, own, and operate the student housing at People's Park. There are no private developers. There are no private operators. No profits are being generated for private entities.
A separate building will house more than 100 persons who are currently unhoused or were recently unhoused. This is not a temporary shelter. This is supportive housing, which combines permanent living accommodations with on-site services. Residents of supportive housing are more likely to avoid re-incarceration, experience fewer visits to the emergency room, and need fewer inpatient hospital stays, reducing public expenses overall. Resources for Community Development (RCD), a Berkeley-based non-profit organization with over 37-years of experience, will develop and operate the supportive housing. Interns from the Schools of Public Health and Social Welfare will partner with RCD's service providers to support residents as part of their academic studies.
This project is supported by the Berkeley mayor, members of the city council, the media, our neighbors, local churches, faculty experts and professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping and supporting unhoused people. We are grateful for their support.