Throughout a metropolis council assembly on Tuesday, Oakland Metropolis Council President Rebecca Kaplan broached the thought of utilizing a cruise ship to accommodate as much as 1,000 homeless folks, suggesting a ship be dropped at the Port of Oakland because the region offers with skyrocketing prices of residing and a shortage of affordable housing.
“It could be a great way to house a lot of people quickly,” Kaplan informed the San Francisco Chronicle. “Cruise ships have been used for emergency housing after natural disasters and for extra housing for things like Olympics.”
Homelessness has spiked in Oakland, with a 47 p.c leap in two years — one of many largest surges of any California metropolis, based on a one-night road depend launched in July.
The count, which used federal pointers, confirmed Oakland had 4,017 homeless folks, up from 2,761 in 2017. The rise has put the town’s per capita homeless fee larger than neighboring San Francisco and Berkeley.
Kaplan informed the Chronicle she plans to current a proposal to the council in January that can be at “no or low” price to the town, as a result of residents of the cruise ship would pay for rooms primarily based on their revenue. Town wouldn’t purchase the cruise ship.
The council president added that she has been contacted by cruise ship corporations about offering a ship for emergency housing and that the businesses – which weren’t named – have been reaching out to the Port of Oakland about mooring choices on the port. The thought for a cruise ship in Oakland could be just like the Queen Mary in Lengthy Seashore in Southern California.
The 1936 ocean liner is now a floating resort with 347 rooms, the place a room with two twin beds goes for $141 an evening and $146 an evening for a full-size mattress.
“It could be like that,” Kaplan told the paper. “But as affordable housing instead of hotel.”
However there could also be a regulatory iceberg in the way in which of this floating proposal.
The Port of Oakland is among the many 10 busiest within the nation, and port officers identified Wednesday that security and safety points at federally regulated services would “make residential makes use of untenable,” port spokesman Mike Zampa informed the Related Press.
“We respect President Kaplan’s desire to address homelessness but Port of Oakland docks are designed to work cargo ships, there isn’t the infrastructure to berth a cruise ship,” Zampa mentioned.
One of many technical points involving docking a cruise ship on the port is having the vessel completely hooked as much as shore energy and sewage, along with common, if not day by day, rubbish service, according to KTVU. There would additionally have to be issues made for safety on board and quite a few well being threats, comparable to norovirus.
Cruise ships have been used as emergency housing earlier than. Within the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Federal Emergency Administration Company chartered three luxury cruise liners to provide housing for as much as 8,000 folks that have been left homeless after the storm. That $236 million contract was later scrutinized in a study launched in 2006 by Home Democrats, which mentioned it proved “wasteful for the federal taxpayer” as a result of it ended up costing $50,000 to accommodate a single particular person for six months, greater than $300 per particular person for every night time’s lodging.
Whereas there could also be a regulatory roadblock with the most recent thought in Oakland, residents who’re rising bored with the uptick in numbers mentioned it would not harm exploring.
“It will maintain the homeless folks out of the rain, particularly in the course of the wintertime,” Dustin Koga informed KTVU. “It is actually chilly proper now, so it makes lots of sense.”
Robert Heyden, who mentioned the town’s homeless disaster is “not a simple drawback to cope with,” mentioned the thought could possibly be worthy, relying on the small print.
“I believe that may be a fantastic thought,” he informed KTVU. “It will be fascinating to see how the implementation occurred and the way profitable it could be.”
Fox Information’ Barnini Chakraborty and the Related Press contributed to this report.