Oakland mayor announces $90M affordable housing project, reopening of zoo amid COVID-19

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- In an interview with ABC7's Reggie Aqui and Kristen Sze Wednesday on "Midday Live", Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf detailed the long awaited reopening of the Oakland Zoo amid the COVID-19 pandemic, changes to the reopening plan in Alameda County and a new affordable housing project that will help those most in need in the East Bay city.

Alameda County announced Wednesday its variance was approved by the state, which allows for the zoo to reopen and for outdoor dining to resume in the county.

This comes after news in recent weeks that the zoo was losing $2 million per month during the COVID-19 closure.

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The zoo was forced to close in March when the pandemic began and was facing permanent closure.

"The zoo will be just another socially distanced opportunity to safely bring families outside and to also help this beloved institution stay open," Schaaf told ABC7.

Though the county has moved forward with the reopening of some sectors, the mayor said this does not mean residents can stop their vigilance during the pandemic.

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"We have seen a very disturbing increase in cases," Schaaf said.

She reiterated the virus is still active.

"We've got to take this seriously," she said.

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During the interview Wednesday, the mayor also announced $90 million made available to Oakland by the State of California for three affordable housing projects, which would bring 462 more housing units to the city.

The housing would be available to residents making less than $19,000 per year or families of three to four making less than $78,000 per year.

Watch the full interview with Mayor Schaaf above

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