At the corner of a busy intersection in East Oakland sits a three-story apartment building that looks like many others in Northern California. As with many buildings in the notoriously housing-starved Bay Area, its tenants aren’t always happy.
A complaint filed last year claimed that a third-floor apartment had leaking windows and mold. One from 2019 reported that the landlord was attempting to convert a crawl space into five bedrooms. City inspectors verified the complaint and found that the landlord began construction without securing the necessary permits — and the rooms had leaking sewer and plumbing lines and were lacking “adequate means of egress.”
Given this history as well as the building’s age — it was built in 1950 — it might be no surprise that the structure scored poorly on energy and water audits conducted last year. It scored in the 45th percentile for energy use and a pitiful 14th for water use.
When the building’s owner, Frank Li, refinanced a $6.1 million loan for the property earlier this year, the loan was purchased by the behemoth government-supported mortgage company Fannie Mae, who repackaged i... Read more