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Oakland's mayor wants residents to house the homeless

Marisa Kendall, The Mercury News on

Published in Home and Consumer News

But Schaaf won't be signing up her own home anytime soon. She says she doesn't own rental property or a secondary unit, and has no space for tenants in the house she shares with her husband and two children.

"Someday, if our living circumstances change, it's something I would consider," Schaaf said.

Oakland has one potential landlord in William Shuford, who uses Airbnb to rent out an extra bedroom in his Lake Merritt house. The 40-year-old relies on the money he makes through Airbnb -- as much as $1,000 a month -- to help pay his rent, but he's willing to sacrifice that income to help the city's homeless. Even so, he's not without concerns.

"There's a fear associated with the desperation that comes along with homelessness," Shuford said. "If you think neighbors are worried about young college kids throwing a party and leaving beer cans all over the lawn -- if the neighbors knew that you were housing homeless families in their close proximity, I think that NIMBY will come out in a lot of people."

(Staff writer David DeBolt contributed to this article.)


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