The mayor of Oakland Libby Schaaf has today issued an executive order to improve the safety standards of DIY spaces while also protecting the rights of their tenants. The order comes after the fatal Ghost Ship fire which claimed 36 lives in December last year, which has since raised serious questions over the safety standards of DIY spaces in the area.
“Buildings in Oakland should be safe places to live, work and play,” said Schaaf in the online statement. “In the wake of the Ghost Ship tragedy, unpermitted living, assembly and work spaces are under heightened scrutiny. We must unite as a City to improve the safety of non-permitted spaces while also working to avoid displacing vulnerable community members.
The order will protect tenants and workers from eviction unless the building is considered to be an immediate threat, by outlining new inspection protocols and five priority tasks to enhance safety in these unpermitted spaces.
A Special Meeting of the City Council is to be held on January 17th to approve the order as an Emergency Ordinance so it can take full effect as soon as possible. “We will never forget those lost in the Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire and we will learn all we can from this horrific tragedy to make Oakland a safer and more resilient community,” Schaaf concluded.