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Oakland’s “Millennial” Pastor Determined to Fund Faith-Based Affordable Senior Housing for the Poor

published by the Oakland Post

After months of planning, community outreach, and detailed consultations with developers, architects, and elected officials, the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Anderson of Williams Chapel Baptist Church is submitting an application to the City of Oakland for funding of 70 units of affordable housing for low-income seniors.

Dr. Anderson is applying for funding support from the Measure KK funding that was approved by voters in last year’s election. The application’s deadline is Sept. 15.

He says the church’s application is the result of hard work emanating from the congregation’s long-held vision that started in August 2015. “We have come this far by faith and our hard work of hosting community forums and seminars,” said Anderson.

City, county and community leaders also recognized the positive impact of the final rally for the passage of Measure A1 held at Williams Chapel.

The Post Newspaper has contacted several churches since Measure KK passed and thus far Williams Chapel is the only faith-based applicant seeking funding for poor and low-income seniors. Recognizing that his church’s proposal marks the  first time in many years  that a faith-based developer is seeking a large sum of money to be committed for housing for the poor, Dr. Anderson said he and his development are prepared to make any adjustments required by the city and county.

In Nov. 2016, both Oakland and Alameda County passed bond measures that could fund this housing project. Dr. Anderson hopes that the Williams Chapel application will be approved first by the city with Measure KK funding, then by Alameda County with Measure A1 funding.

The intent of both ballot measures is to provide affordable local senior housing, and prevent displacement of vulnerable populations, along with other infrastructure goals.

Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Pastor Emeritus of Allen Temple Baptist Church, which has successfully developed affordable housing for low-income seniors, has been acting as a mentor to Dr Anderson, said, “Dr. Kenneth Anderson is keeping alive the teachings of Jesus to remember to honor our elders and to be responsible to ‘the least of these.’

Dr. Smith, Sr. praised Anderson as a “millennial” pastor who has worked diligently on his own church’s development project while also finding the time to encourage other faith-based groups to consider affordable housing developments for the poor

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