Safer DIY Spaces
is an Oakland-based project that emerged in the wake of the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, CA in December 2016. We currently offer guidance, financial assistance, and skilled labor to the frequently vulnerable members of communities who live, work and gather in non-traditional “DIY” spaces presently facing hazardous conditions or significant code enforcement action. DIY communities not only face the threat of displacement but also the risk of physical harm, because the spaces in which they work or reside frequently require repairs and may not otherwise conform to prevailing building, fire or planning codes.
Since December 2016, Safer DIY Spaces has worked as a committed group of volunteer building professionals, artists and community organizers who, over the last year alone, have directly assisted over 70 low-income live/work and assembly sites across the Bay Area with the immediate abatement of hazardous conditions, as well as the resolution of zoning and permitting issues, in order to safely prevent displacement. On policy, Safer DIY Spaces works directly with the City of Oakland’s Administration, Building, Planning and Fire Prevention departments to create more compassionate codes prioritizing life-safety. Finally, Safer DIY Spaces works actively with property owners, lenders, investors, land trusts and foundations to put vulnerable, culturally-critical properties firmly on the path to self-ownership for permanently affordable live/work and performance space.