Meet Local Housing Providers – Arcola

“The city officials proposing and supporting the initiatives forget that we are running a business and have to pay to maintain the rentals, so we need to have steady income in order to provide the services needed to keep up with costs. The housing market is not a nonprofit and I think in cities like Oakland and Berkeley, they think it is.”

Name: Arcola

How long have you owned rental property? My grandparents built the apartments in the 1960s and they have remained family-run ever since. My grandparents created spacious bedrooms in the units, as my grandmother had previously rented units with her children and they were often small and uncomfortable for her family. Each of our units was uniquely designed with comfort in mind for families. My grandparents wanted to help African Americans who were red-lined and refused credit back in the ‘60s, people who had a hard time finding a decent place to live.

How many units do you own? 10 units

What neighborhood? We own and manage properties in the Oakmore neighborhood in Oakland, as well as near the Emeryville/Oakland border and South Berkeley.

Owner/occupied? No

What do you like most about owning property in Oakland?  Property management keeps you on your toes and the rate of growth in the Bay Area is exponential.

How would you describe your relationship with your renters? We strive to maintain positive relationships with all tenants in our communities. However, we have noticed a shift in our tenants’ attitudes towards us, many becoming more argumentative. Things that were done out of kindness are now taken as weaknesses. If we do try to be helpful, it generally has hurt our business, which is unfortunate.

What concerns you most about the renter-proposed initiatives being considered in Oakland? The city officials proposing and supporting the initiatives forget that we are running a business and have to pay to maintain the rentals, so we need to have steady income in order to provide the services needed to keep up with costs. The housing market is not a nonprofit and I think in cities like Oakland and Berkeley, they think it is.