Cruise Ships to House Homeless in Oakland

   December 13, 2019 ,   Cruise Industry

A San Francisco Bay Area city official announced she wanted to explore the possibility of using a cruise vessel to house up to 1,000 homeless people amid a shortage of housing and a high cost of living.

Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan told a council meeting on Tuesday, December 10, that the ship would be brought to the Port, but port officials said the move would be "untenable" as Port of Oakland docks were designed to work cargo ships and there was not the infrastructure to berth a cruise ship.

Kaplan said she had been contacted by cruise companies about providing a vessel for emergency housing, and that the companies had been reaching out to the Port about what options existed to park a vessel at the port. Further details on the companies have not been provided.

Port of San Francisco (California)

Kaplan said she planned to present a proposal to the council in January 2020 that would be "no or low" cost to the port city because residents of the ship would pay for rooms based on their income and the city would not buy the vessel.

Homelessness has spiked in Oakland during the past couple of years, with the number of unsheltered increasing from 1,900 to over 3,000 people.

Kaplan compared the vision for an Oakland ship to something like RMS Queen Mary ( in Port Long Beach CA. The 1936 ocean liner is currently a floating hotel with 347 rooms. A room with 2 twin beds rents for US$141 per night and US$146 per night for a full-size bed.