Homeless structures under BART tracks in East Oakland to be removed

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Residents of a makeshift collection of living structures underneath the BART tracks in East Oakland have been given an eviction notice and now have two weeks to make other arrangements.

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The homeless are building their own homes underneath the BART tracks in Oakland.

"Today we told them that the structures have to be taken down," said Joe DeVries, Oakland's Assistant to the City Administrator.

Oakland's fire marshal deemed the structures a fire hazard earlier this month. The homemade homes run between 81st and 85th avenues along San Leandro Street. In mid-July, ABC7 News saw that the mostly wooden structures extend in some cases two stories high, all the way up to the bottom of the concrete platform that carries the BART tracks.

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"We're eliminating that huge hazard of these haphazard wooden structures," said DeVries.

About a dozen residents now have until Sept. 11 before city crews will move in and begin destroying the structures. It's a development that's not sitting well with The East Oakland Collective, an advocacy group dedicated to finding shelter for the city's growing homeless population.

"Community members are outraged the city would destroy sturdy shelters in the midst of its homeless state of emergency and not improve people's conditions," said a press release from Candice Elder, Founder and Executive Director of the East Oakland Collective.

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The East Oakland Collective is trying to secure tents for the residents who will be displaced. In the short-term, the tents will be allowed on the same piece of property, underneath the BART tracks.

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